Consumer sentiment dips in January

NEW YORK Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:57am 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) - Consumer sentiment dipped slightly in January, with recent economic improvement not translating to expectations for future gains, a survey released on Friday showed.

The final reading on the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's overall index of consumer sentiment slipped to 81.2 in January, down from the 82.5 posted in December but up from the preliminary January reading of 80.4.

Analysts were looking for a reading of 81.0 in the month.

While upper income households reported improved confidence, households with incomes less than $75,000 reported a decrease.

"Prospects for either consumers' own personal finances or for the economy as a whole have remained more resistant to improvement, especially longer term prospects," survey director Richard Curtin wrote in a statement.

"This has prevented recent economic gains from building the type of positive upward momentum that has sparked and sustained increases in consumer optimism and confidence."

The survey's barometer of current economic conditions dropped to 96.8 in January, down from the 98.6 December reading but above both the initial read of 95.2 and the analyst expectation for a read of 95.5.

The survey's gauge of consumer expectations fell to 71.2 from 72.1 in December and was slightly below the mean estimate of 71.5. However, it was up from the preliminary reading of 70.9.

The one-year inflation expectation was 3.1 percent, above the 3.0 percent December figure, while the survey's five-to-10-year inflation outlook rose to 2.9 percent from 2.7 percent last month.

(Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (3)
PopUp wrote:
I just plain no longer have disposable income. My income is paying for ever rising costs of energy (in the energy boom US, no less), food, medical costs, everyday living. Consuming is for those who have something to consume with…dough.

Jan 31, 2014 12:10pm EST  --  Report as abuse
brotherkenny4 wrote:
Consuming is what frivolous babies need to fill the empty void in the hearts. The void created by the “tough love” family destruction of the Reagan and GOP dark ages. Intollerance reigned over the nation as we separated people and weaken families. Together we are strong, but separated we all need our own TV as our friend and mentor.

Jan 31, 2014 2:31pm EST  --  Report as abuse
boonteetan wrote:
Each time when Dow drops, strings of reasons are given. One would think that the main factor of its instability lies in the fluidity of economy worldwide, subject to speculation by people-in-the-know every time.
The stock markets have been highly volatile in the past two months. Indeed, Dow dipped nearly 7% from its record of 16,700 not long ago. Stay cool, especially those small investors.

Jan 31, 2014 9:21pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

Recommended Newsletters

Reuters U.S. Top News
A quick-fix on the day's news published with Reuters videos and award-winning news photography and delivered at your choice of one of four times during the day.
Reuters Deals Today
The latest Reuters articles on M&A, IPOs, private equity, hedge funds and regulatory updates delivered to your inbox each day.
Reuters Technology Report
Your daily briefing on the latest tech developments from around the world from Reuters expert tech correspondents.