U.S. consumer sentiment slipped this month as Americans worried about their personal finances and focused on paying down debts, though confidence in a national recovery remained high, a survey showed on Friday.
The Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers said its final index of sentiment for October slipped to 70.6, from 73.5 in September.
Overall consumer confidence remained at its highest level since September 2008, when it stood at 75. It collapsed to 57.3 in October 2008. This month's reading was also a touch above the median expectation of 70.0, according to a Reuters poll.
But while their view of the national economy improved, consumers continued to voice very dismal assessments of their personal financial situation, the report said.
These grim financial evaluations, coupled with intentions to increase savings and decrease their indebtedness, will limit any rebound in consumer spending.
The index of consumer expectations fell to 68.6 from 73.5, while the current conditions index edged up to 73.7 from 73.4.
(Reporting by Steven C. Johnson)