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Consumer sentiment takes slight dip from year-high

Consumer sentiment dipped slightly in a preliminary reading for April, according to a report released Friday.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index fell to 75.7 from 76.2 in a final March reading. That had marked a 13-month high and one of the highest readings since the recession.

Analysts polled by Econoday expected the index to remain at its 76.2 level.

Econoday said the dip, coupled with a rise in jobless claims, makes for a disappointing early look at April. The stock market moved to morning lows after the release of consumer sentiment.

Rising gas prices and the recent drop in the stock market also likely contributed to the consumer sentiment change, according to research firm Capital Economics.

“Given everything else that is going on, we should probably be thankful it didn’t fall further,” economist Anma Asaf said in an emailed statement.

Survey respondents’ assessment of current conditions fell to a four-month low, but future expectations actually rose to the highest point in two-and-a-half years, according to Asaf.

The consumer sentiment index comes out twice a month, with a reading of 100 an exceptionally high level benchmarked in 1966.


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