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Early January Reuters/Mich Sentiment Falls to 80.4, Below Expectations


By Kathleen Madigan

U.S. consumers were a bit more cautious about the economy at the start of 2014, according to one survey of households released Friday.

The Thomson-Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary-January sentiment index declined to 80.4 from an end-December reading of 82.5, according to an economist who has seen the numbers.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires expected the early January reading to rise to 83.5.

The decline was across the board. The preliminary-January current conditions index dropped to 95.2 from 98.6, while the expectations index fell to 70.9 from 72.1.

The unexpected decline may reflect the weak December job numbers reported in early January. The Labor Department said only 74,000 new jobs were added in December, much less than the 200,000 slots expected.

Within the Michigan survey, short-run inflation expectations remain low.

The one-year inflation expectations reading for early January held at the 3.0% reported in December. Inflation expectations covering the next five to 10 years rose to 2.9% from 2.7%.

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


  (END) Dow Jones Newswires
  01-17-141030ET
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