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Consumer sentiment declines more than expected in September

  • Consumer confidence declined to 95.1 in a final reading for September, lower than economists polled by Reuters expected.
  • August recorded the consumer sentiment index's highest month since January.
  • The index is a survey of consumers by The University of Michigan.

Consumer confidence declined more than expected in September, after hitting a seven-month high in August.

The consumer sentiment index, a survey of consumers by The University of Michigan, hit 95.1 in September in a final reading Friday, which was lower than expected. Economists polled by Reuters anticipated a reading of 95.3 for the month.

In August the index returned to near peak levels recorded earlier in 2017, hitting 96.8 in the final recording in August.

"The resilience of consumers has again been demonstrated as concerns about the impact of the hurricanes on the national economy have quickly faded," Richard Curtin, chief economist for the Surveys of Consumers, said in a statement on Friday.

Curtin noted that sentiment this year remains below the three year average of 105.3 recorded from 1997 to 2000. The resilience of the nation's consumers is indicated through a "willingness to spend and incur debt," Curtin added.

The index measures 500 consumers' attitudes on future economic prospects, in areas such as personal finances, inflation, unemployment, government policies and interest rates.