U.S. consumer sentiment fell in February, confounding expectations for a slight gain and
moderating from January's rise to its highest in two years, a survey showed on Friday.
The Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers said its preliminary February consumer sentiment index declined to 93.3 from 96.9 in January.
Analysts on average had predicted that February's reading would edge up to 97.0 but the actual result was slightly below their lowest forecast, which was 93.5.
The January reading was the highest since December 2004.
The survey's gauge of current economic conditions dipped to 108.3 in February from 111.3 in January, while its measure of consumer expectations slipped to 83.7 from 87.6 in January.
The survey's one-year inflation index held steady at 3% and its five-year inflation index dipped to 2.9% after having stood at 3% for three straight months.
The Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers, a monthly series of data on U.S. consumer sentiment, are produced by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. From
January 2007, Reuters has exclusive rights to distribute the data.