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U.S. consumer sentiment falls in early February

Staff Writer |
U.S. consumer sentiment retreated in early February from a record high level reached in January.

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The preliminary reading of the consumer sentiment for February decreased from 98.5 in January to 95.7, said the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment.

"Consumer confidence retreated from the decade-peak recorded in January, with the decline centered in the Expectations Index," said survey director Richard Curtin in a statement.

"To be sure, confidence remains quite favorable, with only five higher readings in the past decade," added Curtin.

The sub-index gauging consumer expectations for six months from now, which more closely projects the direction of consumer spending, decreased to 85.7 from 90.3 in January.

The sub-index of current conditions, reflecting Americans' perceptions of their financial situation and whether they consider it a good time to buy big-ticket items like cars, slid to 111.2 from last month's 111.3.

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