U.S. consumer sentiment slips slightly in August

By Safiyah Riddle

(Reuters) – U.S. consumer sentiment fell modestly in August, as inflation expectations worsened slightly, a survey showed on Friday.

The University of Michigan’s final August reading on the overall index of consumer sentiment came in at 69.5 on Friday compared to 71.6 in July, and lower than a preliminary reading earlier in the month. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast sentiment would remain relatively stable at 71.2.

Despite the slip in August, sentiment is still far closer to historic averages of 86 than the all-time low registered in June 2022.

“While buying conditions for durables and expectations over living conditions both improved, the long-run economic outlook fell back about 12% this month but remains higher than just two months ago,” Joanne Hsu, the director of the University of Michigan’s Surveys of Consumers, said in a statement.

The survey’s reading of one-year inflation expectations rose to 3.5% this month from 3.4% in July. The five-year inflation outlook came in at 3.0% for the third straight month, still within the narrow 2.9%-3.1% range for 24 of the last 25 months.

(Reporting by Safiyah Riddle; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)