Consumer sentiment inches higher in November

A shopper walks through lower Manhattan in New York City.
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A shopper walks through lower Manhattan in New York City.

U.S. consumer sentiment inched up in November, but missed expectations, according to a report released on Friday.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final November reading on the index was 91.3. That was higher than the previous month's reading of 90, but missed Reuters' estimates for 93.1.

"Although some of the gains recorded earlier in the month evaporated in late November, consumer confidence remained quite favorable, just below the average for the past six months 91.6. Other than for the past twelve months, the Sentiment Index was higher in November than any time since the start of 2007," said Surveys of Consumers Chief Economist Richard Curtin in a statement.

"Nonetheless, the data indicate that consumers have become increasingly aware of economic cross currents in the domestic as well as the global economy. Nearly all of the recent advance was focused on current conditions rather than future economic prospects, and the entire November gain was due to lower income households."

Curtain said that a more guarded outlook reflects the "somewhat weaker personal financial prospects and a greater insistence that their purchases will be contingent on the availability of discounted prices and reduced interest rates."