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U.S. consumer sentiment shows unexpected dip in August

Staff Writer |
Consumer sentiment in the U.S. unexpectedly saw a slight decline in the month of August, according to a report by the University of Michigan.

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The report said the final reading on the consumer sentiment index for August came in at 89.8 compared to the initial estimate of 90.4.

With the downward revision, the consumer sentiment index for August is now below the final July reading of 90.0.

The downward revision came as a surprise to economists, who had expected the index to be upwardly revised to a reading of 90.7.

"Confidence eased back in late August to register a trivial decline from the July reading," said Richard Curtin, the survey's chief economist. "Less favorable personal financial prospects were largely offset by a slight improvement in the outlook for the overall economy."

He added, "Most of the weakness in personal finances was among younger households who cited higher expenses than anticipated as well as slightly smaller expected income gains."

The slight decrease by the headline index came as the index of current economic conditions edged down to 107.0 in August from 109.0 in July.

On the other hand, the University of Michigan said the index of consumer expectations crept up to 78.7 in August from 77.8 in July.

The report also said one-year inflation expectations slid to 2.5 percent in August from 2.7 percent in July, while the five-year inflation outlook dipped to 2.5 percent from 2.6 percent.

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