Consumer sentiment hits 98.1 in January vs. 98.5 estimate

Consumer sentiment little changed in January

A measure of consumers' attitudes remained unchanged at peak levels recorded in December.

The Index of Consumer Sentiment hit 98.1 in January, the University of Michigan reported on Friday. The figure is in line with numbers from December.

Economists expected the index to hit 98.5 in January, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

The post-election surge in optimism was accompanied by "an unprecedented degree of both positive and negative concerns about the incoming administration spontaneously mentioned when asked about economic news," the report said.

"This extraordinary level of partisanship has had a dramatic impact on economic expectations. In early January, the partisan divide on the Expectations Index was a stunning 42.7 points (108.9 among those who favorably mentioned government policies, and 66.2 among those who made unfavorable references)," said Richard Curtin, the Surveys of Consumers chief economist, in a press release.

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

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