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Consumer sentiment improves for August

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(Read caption) This chart shows the trajectory of the University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index since 2000. Sentiment is up 33.5 percent from the same time last year.

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Today's final release of the Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers for August indicated an increase in consumer sentiment from the prior month with a reading of 74.3 and improvement on an annual basis with the level increasing a notable 33.15% above a year ago while one year inflation expectations rose to 3.6%.

The Index of Consumer Expectations (a component of the Conference Board's Index of Leading Economic Indicators) declined to 65.1, and the Current Economic Conditions Index rose to 88.7.

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It's important to recognize that consumer sentiment has seriously eroded over the past few months with the current results remaining near levels not seen since 1980, a major indication that consumers are in the process of tightening even further on spending.