U.S. consumer sentiment (search) eased in early August, weighed down by soaring gasoline prices, a report said on Friday.

The University of Michigan (search) said its reading on confidence fell to 92.7 so far this month, according to sources who saw the subscription-only report. That was down from a final July reading of 96.5 and below Wall Street forecasts of 96.0.

The survey's expectations component was 81.3, while ratings of current conditions fell to 110.4 from 113.5 in July.

Consumer spending makes up about two-thirds of overall U.S. economic activity and is seen as indication of strength or weakness in economic growth.

However, the correlation between confidence and retail sales has weakened in recent years, with consumers telling surveys things are getting worse while they continue to buy new cars and homes in earnest.