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Consumer sentiment index hits 97.1 in final May reading vs estimate of 97.5

  • Economists expected the University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index to hit 97.5.
A woman pulls shopping carts through the aisle of a Target store in Torrington, Connecticut.
Jessica Rinaldi | Reuters
A woman pulls shopping carts through the aisle of a Target store in Torrington, Connecticut.

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Consumers were less optimistic than expected during the month of May, new figures showed on Friday.

The University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index hit 97.1 for its final reading in May. Economists expected the index to reach 97.5, according to a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate, down from a preliminary reading of 97.7.

Last month, the University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index hit 97, slightly below economists expectations for a reading of 98 during April, according to Reuters.

"Consumer sentiment has continued to move along the high plateau established following Trump's election," the survey's chief economist, Richard Curtin, wrote. "The final May figure was virtually unchanged from either earlier in May or the April reading. Indeed, the May figure was nearly identical with the December to May average of 97.3."

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