Michigan consumer sentiment index

Release Date: Monthly basis, the first part released around the 10th day of the month under review and second part is
released on 1st day of the new month
Released By: University of Michigan Survey of Consumers


The Thomson Reuters/Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index report is a survey of consumer confidence that is conducted by the University of Michigan. The Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (MCSI) gathers information on what consumer expectations regarding the overall economy are for the period under review.

A survey of consumer attitudes concerning both the present situation as well as expectations regarding economic conditions is conducted by the University of Michigan.

The base year for the report is 1966, with a base level of 100. For the preliminary release about 300 consumers are surveyed, while 500 are interviewed for the final report, with all surveys being conducted by telephone.

Time of Release

The Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index consists of two sets of data. The first is the preliminary report, which uses about 60% of total survey results and is released around the 10th day of the month under review. The second set is the final report for the prior month, and this is released on 1st day of the new month.

MCSI report on Thomson Reuters
April 2014 MCSI (Preliminary) on University of Michigan Survey of Consumers website

Information about this news release is usually obtained from the University of Michigan Survey of Consumers webpage. However, only survey sponsors can access details of reports that are released in the last 6 months on this webpage. The report can also be viewed on the website of Thomas Reuters, since this news agency is one of the sponsors of the survey. Another source is Bloomberg.

MCSI report on Bloomberg
MCSI Preliminary data for April 2014 on Bloomberg

Interpreting the Data

The level of consumer sentiment is directly related to the strength of consumer spending. If consumers have a poor outlook about the economy, they are likely to cut down on spending, which will impact economic indicators such as retail sales and the GDP. The MCSI thus gives an insight as to whether consumers feel like spending money or not. As a trading indicator, this report carries moderate market impact. It is therefore not a directly tradable indicator, but is more of a predictive and analytical indicator, used in measuring consumer sentiment, consumer spending, retail sales and manufacturing data.

If the consumer sentiment as measured by the MCSI is better than expected, this is seen as USD positive. Poorer than expected results will be USD negative.

Conclusion

Even though the release time for the MCSI is officially 10 am EST, it is sometimes released 5 minutes early, so traders should be on the lookout for any early movements.