U.S. Consumer Sentiment Rebounds Less Than Expected In September

Consumer sentiment in the U.S. has seen a modest improvement in September after falling sharply in August, according to a preliminary report released by the University of Michigan on Friday.

The report said the consumer sentiment index inched up by 71.0 in September from 70.3 in August. Economists had expected the index to rise to 72.2.

The modest increase came after the consumer sentiment index tumbled to its lowest level since December of 2011 in the previous month.

“The steep August falloff in consumer sentiment ended in early September, but the small gain still meant that consumers expected the least favorable economic prospects in more than a decade,” said Surveys of Consumers chief economist, Richard Curtin.

The uptick by the headline index came as the index of consumer expectations crept up to 67.1 in September from 65.1 in August.

On the other hand, the report said the current economic conditions index edged down to 77.1 in September from 78.5 in August.

The report also showed one-year inflation expectations inched up to 4.7 percent in September from 4.6 percent in August, while five-year inflation expectations were unchanged at 2.9 percent.

“Consumers have initially reacted by viewing the rise in inflation as transitory, believing that prices will stabilize or could even fall in the future,” Curtin said.

“As a result, postponing purchases is seen as a viable strategy,” he added. “This implies a slowdown of spending in the months ahead and a more robust rebound later in 2022.”

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