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U.S. consumer sentiment rises to highest level since July

Staff writer |
U.S. consumer sentiment in December rose to the highest level since July as lower prices boosted consumers' willing to buy durables, a key index of consumer sentiment revealed.

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The final reading of the consumer sentiment in December increased to 92.6 from 91.3 in November, said the monthly Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey of consumers.

"The December gain was largely due to lower inflation, which bolstered real incomes and brightened buying plans for household durables," said survey director Richard Curtin in a statement.

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, rose to 108.1 from 104.3 in October.

The sub-index gauging consumer expectations for six months from now, which more closely projects the direction of consumer spending, decreased to 82.7 from 82.9 in November.

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