US consumer sentiment weaker than initial estimates

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US consumer confidence was weaker than initially thought in April, but was little changed from its five-month average.

A final reading of US consumer sentiment inched up 0.1 per cent to 97 in April, from 96.9 the previous month, according to the University of Michigan. However, that was lower than the initial estimate and below economists forecasts of 97.

Consumers’ assessment of current economic conditions fell 0.4 per cent from the previous month to 112.7.

“Consumer sentiment continued to travel along the high plateau established following Trump’s election, with only minor deviations from its five month average of 97.4,” Richard Curtin, economist, said.

The report showed that while the partisan divide has narrowed in recent months, Democrats continue to have a very pessimistic view on the economic outlook, while Republicans have a very optimistic outlook.

Despite the broadly favourable attitude however, Friday’s reading followed data earlier in the morning that showed that growth in consumption, which accounts for about 70 per of GDP, fell to a 0.3 per cent rate — the weakest reading since 2009.

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