Consumer Sentiment Hits Lowest Level Since March


U.S. consumer sentiment edged down in July, while an index of consumer expectations weakened for a third straight month, a survey released on Friday showed.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final July reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment came in at 81.8, a touch below the 82.0 estimate and down from the final June reading of 82.5.

"What has recently dominated the attention of consumers is job and income growth," survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement.

"Despite the recent improvement, consumers have yet to take recent economic gains to indicate that more robust growth in jobs and wages will be forthcoming."

The survey's barometer of current economic conditions rose to 97.4 from 96.6, compared with a forecast of 97.1.

The survey's gauge of consumer expectations fell for a third straight month, to 71.8 from 73.5. The subindex was slightly above an expected 71.5.

The survey's one-year inflation expectation edged up to 3.3 percent from 3.1 percent, while the survey's five-to-10-year inflation outlook was at 2.7 percent, down from the prior month's 2.9 percent.