After the Labor Department stunned the market with much stronger payrolls data, the market is going to get to deal with a new reading on consumer sentiment. The Reuters/University of Michigan reading did not convey the same sort of strength at all. It was lower rather than higher.
24/7 Wall St. always warns that this particular sentiment reading is based on far fewer samples than the consumer confidence reading from the Conference Board, but the reality is that the preliminary reading is one of the first semi-live economic reports measuring the same month’s data. This is also a market-moving report when it is above or below expectations.
November’s Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading came in at 72.0. This is well under expectations. Bloomberg was calling for a reading of 75.0, and Dow Jones was calling for a reading of 74.4 in November.
Here is a breakdown on the components we care about: the Current index reading was 87.2, and the Expectations index was 62.3.
The consumer sentiment index was 73.2 in the final October reading. That was down from 75.2 in the preliminary reading for October, and down from a final reading of 77.5 in September.
We would note that the resolution in Washington, D.C., did not give any real gain to the last reading, so the increase expected today seems to reflect a normalization after the resolution.