Consumer sentiment worsens in June as outlook sours

Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Consumer sentiment worsened in June on jitters about the economic outlook and spending is likely to remain lackluster in the long-term, a survey released on Friday showed.

Falling gasoline prices stabilized consumers' view of their current economic conditions, but expectations remained gloomy, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey showed.

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The final reading for the consumer sentiment index came in at 71.5, down from 74.3 the month before. It was a hair below the preliminary June figure of 71.8 and shy of the median forecast for 71.9 among economists polled by Reuters.

While small spending gains can be expected in the second half of the year, the trend is more likely to vary between lackluster and zero than lackluster and robust over the next several years, the survey said.

"Resurgent spending is not on the horizon, nor is widespread retrenchment," survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement. "Importantly, the consumer no longer has the financial wherewithal to power the economy into overdrive."

The survey's barometer of current economic conditions edged up to 82.0 from 81.9 in May. The gauge of consumer expectations fell to 64.8 from 69.5 and below forecasts for 66.6.

Consumers one-year inflation outlook improved, falling to 3.8 percent from 4.1 percent. But the five-to-10-year inflation outlook inched up to 3.0 percent from 2.9 percent.

(Reporting by Leah Schnurr, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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