Consumer sentiment: 94.3 vs. 94 expected

A woman shops for merchandise at the MVM Miami store in Miami.
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A woman shops for merchandise at the MVM Miami store in Miami.

Consumer attitudes are stable so far this month, as Americans weigh better wages against more uncertain feelings about the U.S. economy, according to a survey.

The Index of Consumer Sentiment hit 94.3 in June, the University of Michigan said Friday. Economists expected the index to hit 94 in June's preliminary reading, compared with 94.7 in May's final reading.

"The strength recorded in early June was in personal finances, and the weaknesses were in expectations for continued growth in the national economy," said Richard Curtin, chief economist of the survey.

The monthly survey of 500 consumers measures attitudes toward topics like personal finances, inflation, unemployment, government policies and interest rates.

Consumers rated their current financial situations at the best levels since 2007 as wages bounced, Curtin said in a statement. But that was offset by a slip in consumers' view of the economy's health, Curtin said.

Indeed, the index of current economic conditions hit 111.7 this month, up from 109.9 in May. The index of consumer expectations, though, fell to 83.2 in June from 84.9 in May.

"The recent data magnified the growing gap between the most favorable assessments of current economic conditions since July 2005, and renewed downward drift of the expectations index, which fell by a rather modest 8.6 percent from the January 2015 peak," Curtin said.

With no major signs of weakening in confidence or labor markets, a decline in long-term inflation expectations was notable, said Jim O'Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.

"It provides another reason for the Fed not to tighten next week even as the headline on sentiment was quite encouraging," O'Sullivan wrote in a research note.