The latest data shows a slight decline in consumer sentiment among U.S. consumers in mid-August, although it still remains significantly higher than the same period last year.
According to a survey conducted by the University of Michigan and released on Friday, the preliminary reading of the consumer sentiment index dropped to 71.2 in early August, down from 71.6 in July. Economists, who participated in a poll conducted by The Wall Street Journal, had forecasted a reading of 71.7.
The index also revealed a decrease in the measure assessing short-term expectations for inflation, which stood at 3.3%, down from 3.4% in July.
Joanne Hsu, the director of the survey, commented that consumer sentiment had remained essentially unchanged since July, with small fluctuations within the index. She noted that consumers perceived few material differences in the economic environment compared to last month, but they did observe significant improvements since three months ago.
In comparison to August of the previous year, the current reading is approximately 22% higher.
The final data for this month’s survey will be published on August 25.