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U.S. Consumer Sentiment Unexpectedly Shows Modest Pullback In April

U.S. Consumer Sentiment Unexpectedly Shows Modest Pullback In April
4/13/2012 10:26 AM ET

Consumer sentiment in the U.S. has seen an unexpected deterioration in the month of April, according to a report released by Reuters and the University of Michigan on Friday, with the consumer sentiment index pulling back off a thirteen-month high.

The report showed that the preliminary reading on consumer sentiment in the month of April fell to 75.7 compared to March's final reading of 76.2. Economists had expected the index to come in unchanged compared to the previous month.

The unexpected decrease by the index reflected the first drop since August of 2011 and comes after it reached its highest level since February of 2011 in March.

The drop by the headline index was largely due to a deterioration in the assessment of current conditions, with the current economic conditions index sliding to 80.6 in April from 86.0 in March.

On the other hand, the consumer expectations index rose to 72.5 in April from 69.8 in March, reaching its highest level since September of 2009.

Peter Boockvar, managing director at Miller Tabak, said, "Bottom line, as consumer confidence is not a leading indicator and more coincident, it doesn't tell us much about the future."

"The key to watch economically from the consumer is what amount of retail sales were pulled forward with the modest winter and we'll get a taste of that on Monday when March Retail Sales get released," he added.

On the inflation front, the report from Reuters and the University of Michigan showed that one-year inflation expectations eased to 3.4 percent in April from 3.9 percent in March. Five-year inflation expectations were unchanged at 3.0 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

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