Consumer Sentiment

DEFINITION of 'Consumer Sentiment'

A statistical measurement and economic indicator of the overall health of the economy as determined by consumer opinion. Consumer sentiment takes into account an individual's feelings toward his or her own current financial health, the health of the economy in the short term and the prospects for longer term economic growth.

BREAKING DOWN 'Consumer Sentiment'

Consumer sentiment developed as an economic statistic during the mid-20th century, and has become a barometer whose results influence public policy, economic policy and the stock markets. When consumer sentiment is less positive, markets typically react bearishly and vice versa.


One of the closely followed publications of the consumer sentiment is the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (MCSI).

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