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Preliminary data released by the University of Michigan on Friday unexpectedly showed a modest deterioration in U.S. consumer sentiment in the month of October.

The report showed the consumer sentiment index slipped to 71.4 in October from 72.8 in September. The dip surprised economists, who had expected the index to inch up to 73.1.

“Consumer sentiment has remained for the past three months at the lows first recorded in response to last year’s shutdown of the economy,” said Surveys of Consumers chief economist Richard Curtin.

He added, “The Delta variant, supply chain shortages, and reduced labor force participation rates will continue to dim the pace of consumer spending into 2022.”

The unexpected decrease by the headline index came as the current economic conditions index fell to 77.9 in October from 80.1 in September.

The index of consumer expectations also edged down to 67.2 in October from 68.1 in September, indicating a slightly dimmer view of the economic outlook.

With regard to inflation expectations, one-year inflation expectations rose to 4.8 percent in October from 4.6 percent in September, while five-year inflation expectations dipped to 2.8 percent from 3.0 percent.


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