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Consumer Sentiment Shows Unexpected Drop

August 14th, 2009 Michael McDonough

Augusts’ preliminary consumer sentiment index unexpectedly fell this morning with a reading of 63.2, compared to a Bloomberg consensus forecast of 68.5 and a July reading of 66.0.  It was anticipated that modest improvements to the employment situation and stock market gains would help lift this index, but this clearly was not the case.  At the same time, high energy prices were expected to provide some negative pressure. According to the Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers, “Consumers reported much less favorable assessments of their personal finances even as they were more likely to expect improved conditions in the national economy,”  The expectations index fell to 62.1 from 63.2 in July.  This is the index’s lowest reading since March.

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