US consumer sentiment edges up in early Aug-survey

NEW YORK, Aug 13 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. consumer sentiment inched
up in early August from July and was a tad above expectations,
but consumers see little improvement in the economy ahead, a
survey said on Friday.

The slight pickup in sentiment follows a drop in July to
the lowest level since November, the data from Thomson
Reuters/University of Michigan’s Surveys of Consumers showed.

The survey’s preliminary August reading on the overall
index on consumer sentiments rose to 69.6 from 67.8 in July,
above the median forecast of 69.3 among economists polled by
Reuters.

The sentiment index is just several points above where it
was a year ago, with worries about prospects for job growth and
income hanging over sentiment.

“The gain was too small to represent a meaningful
improvement,” Richard Curtin, director of the surveys, said in
a statement. “Consumers have increasingly come to expect
lackluster income and job growth for an extended period of
time.”

Job growth is considered key to keeping the recovery moving
forward, with consumer spending accounting for 70 percent of
the U.S. economy. A weaker-than-expected July jobs report from
the U.S. government was among recent data fueling worries about
a recovery slowdown.

“While consumers increasingly believed the worst of the
downturn was over..the majority expected that overall economic
conditions would remain largely unchanged during the year
ahead,” Curtin said.

Still, the survey’s barometer of current economic
conditions edged up to 78.3 in August from 76.5 in July, while
expectations were for it to remain unchanged.

The survey’s gauge of consumer expectations rose to 64.1
from 62.3 in July. Analysts had predicted a reading of 63.7.

The measure on consumers’ 12-month economic outlook edged
up to 69 from 66 in July.

The survey’s one-year inflation expectations measure ticked
up to 2.8 from 2.7 in July.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitc, Editing by Chizu
Nomiyama)

US consumer sentiment edges up in early Aug-survey