Consumer sentiment up in April, price fears ease

By @ibtimes on

Consumer sentiment rose in April as the sharp increase in gasoline prices was viewed as being temporary, a survey released on Friday showed.

Even so, consumers still anticipated some additional price increases in the coming months, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment survey showed. Complaints about high prices were the most frequent since 2008 and half of all households said their finances had worsened.

Small expected wage gains tempered higher fuel and food prices, leaving real income expectations unchanged in April.

The final reading on the overall index came in at 69.8, up from 67.5 in March and up a hair from the preliminary reading of 69.6.

It was roughly inline with the median forecast of 69.9 among economists polled by Reuters.

The survey's barometer of current economic conditions held steady with March's reading of 82.5, while the survey's gauge of consumer expectations rose to 61.6 from 57.9.

The survey's one-year inflation expectation was unchanged at 4.6 percent, though it was still the highest level since 2008. The five-to-10-year inflation outlook dipped to 2.9 percent from 3.2 percent the month before.

Separate data earlier on Friday showed rising gasoline and food prices lifted U.S. consumer spending in March and the increase in overall inflation from a year-ago was the largest in 10 months.

Overseas, European Commission survey showed economic sentiment in the euro zone as a whole fell for the second month in a row to in April.

(Reporting by Leah Schnurr, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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