Early-June Reuters/Mich Sentiment Falls to 81.2, Below Expectations

By Dow Jones Business News, 
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By Kathleen Madigan

U.S. consumers remained uncertain about the economy at the start of June, according to one survey of households released Friday.

The Thomson-Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary June sentiment index unexpectedly slipped to 81.2 from a final- May reading of 81.9, according to an economist who has seen the numbers.

The early-June reading is well below the 83.0 reading expected by economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. The latest number is the weakest since March and remains well below the recent high of 84.1 posted for April.

This month's preliminary current conditions index increased to 95.4 from May's final 94.5, but the expectations index fell to 72.2 from 73.7.

Economists are counting on consumers to lead a pick-up in spring economic activity. On Thursday, however, the Commerce Department reported May retail sales were sluggish, although April store receipts were revised higher. Economists at HSBC calculate that real retail sales are growing at an annual rate of 2.5%, "not strong enough generate a rapid acceleration in economic activity."

According to the Michigan survey, inflation expectations remain low.

The one-year inflation expectations reading at the start of June fell to 3.0% from a final May read of 3.3%. Inflation expectations covering the next five to 10 years edged up to 2.9% from 2.8%.

--Write to Kathleen Madigan at kathleen.madigan@wsj.com


  (END) Dow Jones Newswires
  06-13-141021ET
  Copyright (c) 2014 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


This article appears in: US Markets , Economy

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