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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

12/20/2019 - 10:53:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Consumer sentiment in the U.S. improved by slightly more than initially estimated in the month of December, according to a report released by the University of Michigan on Friday.

The report said the consumer sentiment index for December was upwardly revised to 99.3 from the preliminary reading of 99.2. Economists had expected the index to be unrevised.

With the upward revision, the consumer sentiment index for December is even further above the final November reading of 96.8.

"Most of the December gain was among upper income households, with those in the top third of the income distribution gaining 7.5% from last month and those in the bottom two-thirds posting a gain of just 0.8%," said Surveys of Consumers chief economist Richard Curtin.

He added, "The recent shift favoring higher income households is in the opposite direction when compared with all-time peaks in the late 1990's."

Interestingly, Curtin noted the two best extended periods of optimism in the history of the surveys both included the impeachment of a president.

The report said the current economic conditions index jumped to 115.5 in December from 111.6 in November, while the index of consumer expectations rose to 88.9 from 87.3.

On the inflation front, one-year inflation expectations fell to 2.3 percent in December from 2.5 percent in November, while five-year inflation expectations slid to 2.2 percent from 2.5 percent.

Curtin said five-year inflations expectations are at the lowest level since the question was first introduced in the late 1970s.

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