Consumer Sentiment Picks Up in Late September

Consumer sentiment improved in late September but worries persisted about jobs and finances which could curb household spending in the coming months, a private survey released on Friday showed.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final September reading of the overall index on consumer sentiment stood at 59.4, up from 57.8 earlier this month. Economists had expected no change from the initial September reading.

The index finished at 55.7 in August.

"The data indicate that consumers have shifted from anticipating deeper declines to the growing belief that the economy will stagnate at its currently depressed level," survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement.

The survey's barometer of current economic conditions rose to 74.9 from 74.5 in early September and 68.7 in August. Analysts had expected no change from the early September figure.

The survey's gauge of consumer expectations edged up to 49.4 from 47.0 in early September and 47.4 in August. Analysts had expected no change from the earlier reading.

The survey's one-year inflation expectation fell to 3.3 percent from 3.7 percent earlier this month and 3.5 percent in August, while the survey's five-to-10-year inflation outlook dipped to 2.9 percent from 3.0 percent in early September and was unchanged from 2.9 percent in August.