By Maria Martinez


Sentiment among U.S. consumers improved in August, as future expectations brightened particularly among low- and middle-income consumers.

The preliminary estimate of the consumer sentiment index published Friday by the University of Michigan increased to 55.1 in August from 51.5 in July. The indicator came in above the 52.5 forecast by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

The indicator is about five points above the all-time low reached in June, the report said.

All components of the expectations index improved this month, particularly among low- and middle-income consumers for whom inflation is particularly salient, said Joanne Hsu, the survey's director.

With continued declines in energy prices, the median expected year-ahead inflation rate fell to 5.0%, its lowest reading since February, but still well above the 4.6% reading from a year ago.

"The share of consumers blaming inflation for eroding their living standards remained near 48%," Ms. Hsu said.

Inflation expectations for the next five years, a closely watched indicator for Federal Reserve's officials, were at 3.0%, within the 2.9% to 3.1% range seen over the past year.

The index measuring Americans' assessment of the current economic conditions fell to 55.5 in August from 58.1 in July.

However, short-term expectations brightened considerably. The index of consumer expectations, which reflects the balance of respondents anticipating improved business conditions in the next six months, rose to 54.9 from 47.3 the previous month.


Write to Maria Martinez at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 12, 2022 10:31 ET (14:31 GMT)

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