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U.S. Consumer Sentiment Improves Slightly Less Than Initially Estimated

consumer sentiment 052920 lt

Revised data released by the University of Michigan on Friday showed consumer sentiment in the U.S. improved by slightly less initially estimated in the month of May.

The report showed the consumer sentiment index for May was downwardly revised to 72.3 from the preliminary reading of 73.7. Economists had expected the index to be upwardly revised to 74.0.

Despite the unexpected downward revision, the consumer sentiment index is still above the April reading of 71.8.

"Consumer sentiment has remained largely unchanged during the past two months, with the final May estimate just a half index point above the April reading," said Surveys of Consumers chief economist Richard Curtin.

He added, "The CARES relief checks and higher unemployment payments have helped to stem economic hardship, but those programs have not acted to stimulate discretionary spending due to uncertainty about the future course of the pandemic."

The slight uptick by the consumer sentiment index came as the current economic conditions index jumped to 82.3 in May from 74.3 in April.

On the other hand, the report showed the index of consumer expectations slumped to 65.9 in May from 70.1 in the previous month.

One-year inflation expectations surged up to 3.2 percent in May from 2.1 percent in April, while five-year inflation expectations rose to 2.7 percent from 2.5 percent.

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