Consumer sentiment improves; still lower than last year

Consumer sentiment improved in November, increasing to a reading of 64.2 but falling 10.34 percent below the level seen last year

This chart shows the annual change in consumer sentiment readings since 2000. After bottoming out in 2009, sentiment has yet to recover to pre-recession levels.

Today's final release of the Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers for November indicated improvement in consumer sentiment with a reading of 64.2 but falling 10.34% below the level seen last year while one year inflation expectations went flat at 3.2%.

The Index of Consumer Expectations (a component of the Conference Board's Index of Leading Economic Indicators) rose to 56.2, and the Current Economic Conditions Index climbed to 76.6.

It's important to recognize that consumer sentiment has seriously eroded over the past few months with the current results remaining near levels not seen since 1980, a major indication that consumers are in the process of tightening even further on spending.

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