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US consumer sentiment retreats from decade peak recorded

Shoppers carry bags while crossing the street near an Apple store in San Francisco.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Shoppers carry bags while crossing the street near an Apple store in San Francisco.

A measure of consumers' attitudes retreated from the decade peak recorded in January, with the decline centred in the expectations index, the University of Michigan reported on Friday.

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment hit 95.7 in February, down from 98.5 in the prior month.

Economist expected the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment to hit 98.5 in February, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

"To be sure, confidence remains quite favorable, with only five higher readings in the past decade. Importantly, the data do not reflect any closing of the partisan divide," said Richard Curtin, Surveys of Consumers chief economist.

"These differences are troublesome: the Democrat's Expectations Index is close to its historic low (indicating recession) and the Republican's Expectations Index is near its historic high (indicating expansion). While currently distorted by partisanship, the best bet is that the gap will narrow to match a more moderate pace of growth," Curtin added.

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

Correction: This article has been corrected to reflect U.S. consumer sentiment hit 95.7 in mid-February.