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Financial News: U.S. Consumer Sentiment Improves Slightly More Than Initia

U.S. Consumer Sentiment Improves Slightly More Than Initially Estimated

02/28/2020 - 10:17:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Consumer sentiment in the U.S. improved by slightly more than initially estimated in the month of February, revised data from the University of Michigan revealed on Friday.

The consumer sentiment index for February was upwardly revised to 101.0 from the preliminary reading of 100.9. Economists had expected the index to be unrevised.

With the unexpected upward revision, the consumer sentiment index for February is a little further above the final January reading of 99.8.

Just 8 percent of consumers mentioned the coronavirus in February as a whole, although mentions spiked to 20 percent amid the sell-off on Wall Street on Monday and Tuesday, the last days of the February survey.

"While too few cases were conducted to attach any statistical significance to the findings, it is nonetheless true that the domestic spread of the virus could have a significant impact on consumer spending," said Surveys of Consumers chief economist Richard Curtin.

He added, "Importantly, the early indications suggested only a very modest impact as the Sentiment Index among consumers who mentioned the coronavirus was still quite high (just over 90.0)."

The report said the index of consumer expectations climbed to 92.1 in February from 90.5 in January and the current economic conditions index inched up to 114.8 from 114.4.

On the inflation front, one-year inflation expectations edged down to 2.4 percent in February from 2.5 percent in January, while five-year inflation expectations fell to 2.3 percent from 2.5 percent.

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