Consumer Sentiment Falls Unexpectedly in U.S.

Consumer confidence cooled unexpectedly during July as U.S. consumers became less optimistic regarding the outlook of the U.S. economy.

The preliminary index by the University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters consumer sentiment fell from 84.1 to 83.9 in July. The average forecast in a survey of economists called for the index to increase to 84.7. In May, the gauge reached its six-year high of 84.5.

The recent spike of gas prices and mortgage rates has cut the views of consumers on the economy for the upcoming next six months, said analysts.

While at the same time, the gauge of the group on current conditions increased to a new high of six years as prices of stocks approached new records after falling back during the middle of June.

Other data today indicated that prices paid to those who produce increased by 0.8% during June, more than what was projected and more than any other month since last September.

The survey from Michigan that measures current condition, taking into account views of Americans of their personal finances increased in July to 99.7 from June’s 93.8. However, the gauge for expectations that are six months down the road fell from 77.8 to 73.8.

This week mortgage rates climbed to their highest level in over two years. The rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was up to 4.51% on average. In November, the rate was down to a record low of 3.51%.

During the week, prices of gasoline also increased from an average per gallon price of $3.47 to $3.55.

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