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U.S. consumer sentiment steadies in September after August plunge -UMich By Reuters


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: This is a shopping cart seen in Target’s Brooklyn store, U.S.A, on November 14, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

(Reuters) – U.S. consumer sentiment steadied in early September after plunging the month before to its lowest level in nearly a decade, but consumers continue to have a bleak view of the outlook amid a stiff bout of inflation, a survey showed on Friday.

University of Michigan reported that its consumer sentiment index increased to 71 from 70.3 in August. It is now the lowest level since December 2011. Reuters polled economic experts and forecast 72.

Economists polled by Reuters had predicted a reading of 72. However, current conditions assessments fell to 77.1 from 78.5 August. Meanwhile, forward-looking expectancies index rose to 67.1 (from 65.1), which was the lowest level since 2013.

Richard Curtin (director of the survey) stated that the August drop in consumer sentiment was over by September. However, the modest gain meant consumers still expected to see the worst economic prospects for more than 10 years. The forward-looking expectations index ticked up to 67.1 from 65.1, which had been the lowest since 2013.

While consumers still view inflation as high, prices seem to be lower than they were during the summer. This was when official price-index gauges reached their highest ever levels for years.

According to the survey, July’s inflation outlook for one year rose to 4.7%, matching August’s figure of 4.6%. Meanwhile, the five-year forecast remained steady at 2.9%.

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