Univ. Michigan: Consumer Sentiment Worsens in January

U.S. consumer sentiment worsened in January as high oil prices and weaker economic growth in late 2005 offset robust stock market performance and a more positive jobs market, a report showed Friday.

The University of Michigan's final January index of consumer sentiment edged down to 91.2 from December's reading of 91.5, sources who saw the subscription-only report said.

The index fell back also from the 93.4 recorded in early January and broke a three-month streak of gains.

Wall Street economists polled by Reuters on average had forecast a rise to 93.0.

The survey's expectations gauge fell to 78.9 in January from 80.2 in late December.

Conversely, the index of current conditions rose to 110.3 from 109.1 at the end of December.

Confidence measures are often used as a gauge of future spending patterns. Consumer spending makes up roughly two-thirds of overall U.S. economic activity, and is seen as an indication of strength or weakness in economic growth.