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Financial News: U.S. Consumer Sentiment Unexpectedly Improves In December

U.S. Consumer Sentiment Unexpectedly Improves In December

12/21/2018 - 10:31:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Revised data released by the University of Michigan on Friday unexpectedly showed an improvement in U.S. consumer sentiment in the month of December.

The report said the consumer sentiment index for December was upwardly revised to 98.3 from a preliminary reading of 97.5. Economists had expected the index to be unrevised.

With the unexpected upward revision, the reading on consumer sentiment in December is above the final November reading of 97.5.

Despite the recent sell-off on Wall Street, Surveys of Consumers chief economist Richard Curtin said just 12 percent of consumers named falling stock prices as a primary concern about recent economic developments in the last week of the survey.

"This may reflect their initial dismissal as another indication of the heightened volatility of stock prices, and not signal an emerging downtrend," Curtin said.

He added, "While next month's data may reflect increased concerns, it has been news of changing job and income prospects that have been of the greatest concern to consumers."

The report said the current economic conditions index jumped to 116.1 in December from 112.3 in November, while the index of consumer expectations fell to 87.0 from 88.1.

With regard to inflation, one-year inflation expectations edged down to 2.7 percent in December from 2.8 percent in November and five-year inflation expectations dipped to 2.5 percent from 2.6 percent.

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