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U.S. Consumer Sentiment Index Unexpectedly Rises to 74.3 in Michigan Index [View All]

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Purveyor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 10:38 AM
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U.S. Consumer Sentiment Index Unexpectedly Rises to 74.3 in Michigan Index
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Source: Bloomberg

By Alex Kowalski

May 27 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. consumers grew more confident in May than a month earlier as declining gasoline prices helped lift Americans spirits.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment increased to a three-month high of 74.3 from 69.8 in April. Economists forecast a reading of 72.4, the same as the preliminary figure issued earlier this month, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey.

Gasoline prices have begun to retreat after rising to the highest level since July 2008, providing some relief for consumers whose purchases account for about 70 percent of the economy. Bigger gains in employment may help boost spending that slowed in the first quarter.

Income generation has been soft, and a good portion of income was being gobbled up by inflation, said Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics LLC in Pepper Pike, Ohio. For the summer months, prices might come down and give consumers a little more wiggle room.


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