U.S. consumer sentiment, as measured by the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index, fell in April to a three-month low, but the decline was less than expected as shoppers bought automobiles and other durable goods.
The index, which had been expected to decline to 73.5 after a preliminary reading of 72.3, slipped to 76.4. That compares with the final March reading of 78.6.
The index of current economic conditions fell to 89.9 from 90.7, and the barometer of consumer expectations fell to 67.8 from 70.8 in March.
“We are seeing slightly softer growth, but, on the other hand, household wealth looks pretty good,” Gus Faucher, senior economist at PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh, Pa., told Bloomberg News before the report. “The economy is continuing to expand, but we do have some drags.”
The decline followed a disappointing report Friday from the Commerce Department that Q1's gross domestic product rose only 2.5 percent, less than the 3 percent to 3.2 percent that analysts had expected.