Consumer sentiment fell to a final May reading of 90.7, a six-month low, compared with a final April level of 95.9, according to reports on the University of Michigan gauge released Friday. Economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected a final May level of 89.5, compared with a preliminary estimate of 88.6. Economists follow readings on confidence to look for clues about consumer spending, the backbone of the economy. For context, the consumer-sentiment gauge averaged 86.9 over the year leading up to the recession.
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