U.S. consumer sentiment dips in January

NEW YORK Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:20am EST

A shopper walks down an aisle in a newly opened Walmart Neighborhood Market in Chicago in this September 21, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Jim Young/Files

A shopper walks down an aisle in a newly opened Walmart Neighborhood Market in Chicago in this September 21, 2011 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Jim Young/Files

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. consumer sentiment slipped in its first January measure, weighed by lowered expectations among lower- and middle-income families, a survey released on Friday showed.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment came in at 80.4, down from 82.5 in December.

It was below the median forecast of 83.5 among economists polled by Reuters.

"Upper-income households benefited from continued strong gains in income as well as increases in stock and home values," survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement.

"Low- and middle-income households were mainly concerned about lackluster growth in employment and income, and anticipated less improvement in long-term prospects for the economy."

The survey's barometer of current economic conditions fell to 95.2 from 98.6 and below a forecast of 98.5.

The survey's gauge of consumer expectations slipped to 70.9 from 72.1 and below a forecast of 74.2.

The survey's one-year inflation expectation was unchanged from last month at 3.0 percent, while the survey's five-to-10-year inflation outlook rose to 2.9 percent from 2.7 percent.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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Comments (2)
bertanderson wrote:
I don’t believe the stock market cares about middle and low income families so what is the purpose of this sentiment number. The sentiment number reflects the fast majority of working class Americans. They have been left behind when it comes to benefiting from the stock market run-up which is the result of government QE and bailouts of the big bank, investment companies, mortgage lending companies and automotive company.

Everyone talks about doom and gloom and the world coming to an end if the US governments default as the debt pushes to $18 trillion with still no solution. I find it hard to believe that we will have an economic collapse if we don’t keep artificially propping up the economy.

The rubber band has got to be stretched to the thickness of the thread…

The stock market has risen way too fast too soon….

Jan 17, 2014 12:50pm EST  --  Report as abuse
MoneyAnxiety wrote:
Once again, the consumer sentiment is showing a disconnect between that people do and what they say. In my book, Money anxiety, I demonstrate empirically the gap between what people say, in response to surveys like this, and what they actually do with their money. Bottom line, retail sales have increased in the last two months, and what we are seeing here is exactly the phenomenon I describe in my book – “they cry but buy”.

Jan 19, 2014 11:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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