Consumers Remain Pessimistic on Economy

U.S. consumer sentiment worsened more than expected in June on renewed concerns about the outlook for the economy, while worries about inflation eased modestly, a survey released Friday showed.

Consumers remained pessimistic about stagnant incomes and job prospects, and their view of their own finances was largely unchanged at negative levels, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey showed.

The preliminary reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment was 71.8, down from 74.3 the month before. It was below the the median forecast of 74.0 among economists polled by Reuters.

Even so, the data gave little evidence a new downturn is underway, with most consumers believing the last recession had not yet ended, the survey found.

"The majority of consumers are as convinced today as they were two-and-a-half years ago that their incomes will not increase, and the majority anticipate that the unemployment rate will remain stuck at about its current level for the foreseeable future," survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement.

The survey's barometer of current economic conditions fell to 79.6, its lowest level since October 2010, from 81.9 in May. The current personal finances gauge dipped to 82 from 83, while expected personal finances edged up to 107 from 106.

The survey's gauge of consumer expectations slipped to 66.8 from 69.5 and below a predicted reading of 68.6.

The survey's one-year inflation expectation fell to its lowest since February, to 4.0 percent from 4.1%. The survey's five-to-10-year inflation outlook was at 3.0%, edging up from 2.9%.