U.S. consumer sentiment fell in early November to the weakest in three months amid grim expectations for job and income prospects, a survey showed on Friday.

The Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers said its preliminary index of sentiment for November fell to 66.0, the lowest since August, from 70.6 in October. This was well below economists' median expectation of a reading of 71.0, according to a Reuters poll.

The index of consumer expectations fell to 63.7 in early November from 68.6 in October.

Confidence tumbled in early November due to the grim financial realities faced by consumers as well as weaker economic prospects for the year ahead -- importantly, the decline in confidence was already in place before the announced increase in the unemployment rate to 10.2 percent on November 6, the Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers statement said.

Within the survey, the 12-month economic outlook index fell to 67, the lowest since April, from 81 in October. The 1-year inflation expectation eased to 2.8 percent from 2.9.

(Reporting by Chris Reese; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)