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Consumer Sentiment Dips in January

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Consumer sentiment dipped in the first month of 2015, according to preliminary data released from a survey conducted by Richard Curtin at the University of Michigan.

Consumer outlook on economic conditions fell 5.7 percent month-to-month and the survey’s “Index of Consumer Expectations” dropped 3.8 percent in January.

Despite the drop, year-to-year numbers still show positive growth of 14.7 percent increase in overall consumer sentiment compared to 2014.

“Consumer optimism slipped in early February due to renewed concerns over employment and wage growth as well as a diminished outlook for the domestic economy,” Curtin said in the release.

Although confidence reversed the January gain, returning to the December level, the Sentiment Index was still higher than any other time since January 2007.

The February decline was larger among residents of the Northeast and Midwest, who had to cope with unusually harsh winter storms, while residents of the South posted modest increases in confidence.

Low gas prices have especially helped lower income households, although consumers now widely anticipate that gas prices will edge upward during the year ahead. The small reversals in early February are hardly sufficient to alter last month’s more favorable forecast that real personal consumption expenditures will grow by 3.3 percent in 2015.

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