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U.S. consumer sentiment falls in July

Staff Writer |
A gauge of U.S. consumer sentiment dropped in July—a sign that global economic uncertainty could ripple through domestic spending.

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The University of Michigan said its consumer-sentiment index fell to 90.0 in July, down from a reading of 93.5 in June. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a reading of 90.8 in July.

Consumer spending has been relatively resilient despite economic turmoil overseas, underpinning growth in the second quarter even as businesses pulled back on investment.

But higher-earning Americans continued cited the Brexit vote as cause for concern, despite the rebound in markets following the late-June vote and a strong June jobs report.

July's figure is 3.3% lower than in July 2015, suggesting that the consistent improvement of the past five years is flattening out.

Sentiment around both current and future conditions deteriorated. The index measuring optimism around current conditions fell to 109.0 from 110.8 in June.

The more forward-looking index of consumer expectations fell to 77.8 from 82.4 in June, and is down 7.5% year-over-year.

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