Consumer Sentiment Slides for Third-Straight Month

By FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

A measure of U.S. consumer sentiment slid in January for the third-straight month, continuing to ease after reaching its highest level in more than a decade.

The University of Michigan on Friday said its consumer sentiment index was 94.4 in early January, down slightly from 95.9 in December. It dropped in December and November after hitting the highest level since 2004 in October.

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Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a preliminary reading of 97.0 for January. A final reading for January will be released Feb. 2.

Consumers have been upbeat this year in multiple measures, buoyed by strong economic growth, low unemployment, and rising wealth related to property values and repeated stock market highs. Still, consumers viewed economic conditions less favorably this month.

"This small decrease in current conditions produced a small overall decline," said Richard Curtin, the survey's chief economist. "Importantly, the survey recorded persistent strength in personal finances and buying plans."

Write to Sharon Nunn at sharon.nunn@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 19, 2018 10:35 ET (15:35 GMT)

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