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U.S. Consumer Sentiment Slides In December

The University of Michigan released its consumer sentiment preliminary numbers for December just now – 90.2. That’s lower than the 92 expected and the 92.1 registered in November. “The Fed watches this,” says CNBC’s Steve Liesman, who was on “Morning Call” with Michelle Caruso-Cabrera. “Because it’s interesting to know what people think about what inflation will be. [The Fed’s] job is managing expectations.”

Liesman also talked briefly about this morning’s jobs report. Overall nonfarm payrolls were up 132,000, and unemployment was up to 4.5% – though that was mainly because more people entered the workforce. The biggest gains came in the services industry (172,000), with its professional and hospitality sectors showing big gains. In fact, 17% of all job growth this year has come through the hospitality industry.

Manufacturing and construction saw the biggest job losses, but Liesman notes that the economy seems to be absorbing the layoffs.