U.S. Consumer Sentiment Unexpectedly Deteriorates In February

consumer 021216

Consumer sentiment in the U.S. has unexpectedly deteriorated in the month of February, according to a report released by the University of Michigan on Friday.

The report said the preliminary reading on the consumer sentiment index for February came in at 90.7 compared to the final January reading of 92.0.

The decrease came as a surprise to economists, who had expected the consumer sentiment index to inch up to a reading of 92.5.

Richard Curtin, the survey's chief economist, said, "Consumer confidence continued its slow decline in early February, with its current level just below the average recorded during the 2nd half of 2015."

"The small early February decline was due to a less favorable outlook for the economy during the year ahead, while longer term prospects for the national economy remained unchanged at favorable levels," he added.

The report said the index of consumer expectations fell to 81.0 in February from 82.7 in January, while the current economic conditions index edged down to 105.8 from 106.4.

On the inflation front, one-year inflation expectations held at 2.5 percent, while five-to-ten year inflation expectations fell to a record low 2.4 percent in February from 2.7 percent in January.

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