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Fri Jun 28, 2013, 10:52 AM


Consumer Sentiment in U.S. Declines Less Than Forecast

By Alexandria Baca - Jun 28, 2013

Consumer sentiment fell less than forecast in June from an almost six-year high a month earlier as Americans grew more upbeat about the economic outlook.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan said today that its final index of confidence eased to 84.1 this month from 84.5 at the end of May, which was the highest since July 2007. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for 83 in the gauge after a preliminary reading of 82.7.

Rising residential property values and gains in employment have spurred demands for housing and automobiles, underpinning Americans’ confidence in the outlook for the expansion. At the same time, bigger gains in confidence may prove difficult after the recent retreat in stock prices and an increase in borrowing costs.

“Consumer sentiment seems to be holding up fairly well despite some of the more recent turmoil we’ve seen in the market,” Sean Incremona, a senior economist at 4Cast Inc. in New York, who projected a rise in the gauge to 84, said before the report. “Equity prices are still pretty solid, the housing market’s recovering and the job market has looked better over the course of the last several months.”

Stocks maintained losses after the report and another figure that showed business activity cooled more than projected. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 0.5 percent to 1,604.95 at 10:20 a.m. in New York.



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