Consumer sentiment drops back to decade low
Jan 28 (Reuters) - U.S. consumers' moods soured in January with a closely watched gauge of American household sentiment tumbling to a decade low on concerns about high inflation and the degree to which it is eating into incomes.
The University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index fell to 67.2 this month - the lowest since November 2011 - from a final December reading 70.6. Economists polled by Reuters had been expecting a reading of 68.7, around the index's mid-month reading of 68.8.
Readings of current conditions and future expectations fell from both the month before and their preliminary levels from two weeks ago.
Consumer sentiment may further be dented by actions soon to be taken by the Federal Reserve to contain inflation running at its highest level since the 1980s, survey Director Richard Curtin said in a statement.
"Although their primary concern is rising inflation and falling real incomes, consumers may misinterpret the Fed's policy moves to slow the economy as part of the problem rather than part of the solution," Curtin said. "The danger is that consumers may overreact to these tiny nudges, especially given the uncertainties about the coronavirus and other heightened geopolitical risks."
Reporting By Dan Burns Editing by Chizu Nomiyama
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