Univ. of Michigan: Consumer Sentiment Better Than Expected

U.S. consumer sentiment improved more than expected in October, a final report showed Friday, as consumers' view of both future and current conditions improved.

The final October reading of the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index was 93.6, up from a preliminary 92.3 and September's final reading of 85.4, said sources who saw the subscription-only report.

The median forecast of Wall Street economists polled by Reuters was for a final October reading of 92.5.

The survey's index of current conditions climbed to 107.3 in October from a preliminary 106.1 and from 96.6 in September, while consumer expectations rose to 84.8 from a preliminary 83.4 and 78.2 in September.

Consumer spending accounts for about two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, but in recent years confidence measures have been a weak guide to actual spending.

Consumers' expectations for inflation were virtually unchanged from September, the report said, according to the sources.

The final October reading on one-year U.S. inflation expectations was 3.1 percent, up from a preliminary 2.9 percent, but unchanged from 3.1 percent in September.

Median expectations for inflation over a five-year horizon were unchanged from early October at 3.1 percent but fractionally higher than September's 3.0 percent.

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