Consumer sentiment softens at the end of February, but stays at 32-month high


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The numbers: A survey of consumer sentiment slipped in late February but stayed at a 32-month high in a sign of optimism about the U.S. economy.

The second of two readings of the consumer sentiment survey in February fell to 76.9 from 79.6 earlier in the month, the University of Michigan said Friday. It’s still at the highest level since July 2021, however.

Key details: A gauge that measures what consumers think about the current state of the economy slipped to 79.4 from 81.5 earlier in the month.

A measurement of expectations for the next six months also tacked lower, to 75.2 from a preliminary 78.4.

Americans think inflation will average 3% in the next 12 months. The current rate of inflation is 3.1%, based on the consumer-price index.

Big picture: A resilient economy has continued to expand at an above-average pace despite the shock of higher interest rates. Steady hiring and very low unemployment have given Americans the confidence to spend.

A booming stock market and the prospect of the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates later this year could help the economy stay on its current growth path.

Market reaction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average
and S&P 500
were mixed in Friday trades.

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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