Consumer sentiment sours in January

Consumer sentiment declined from the prior month with a reading of 71.3, the lowest consumer sentiment level seen since December 2011, according to data from the Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers.

This graph shows the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment index since 2000. Consumer sentiment has declined in January 2013 to the lowest level seen since December 2011.

Today's early release of the Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers for January indicated an decline in consumer sentiment from the prior month with a reading of 71.3, the lowest level seen since December 2011 and a decline of 4.93% on an annual basis while one year inflation expectations rose to 3.4%. 

The Index of Consumer Expectations (a component of the Conference Board's Index of Leading Economic Indicators) also declined falling to 62.7 while the Current Economic Conditions Index slumped to 84.4. 

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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