Jan 14, 2011
Rising gasoline prices beat down U.S. consumer sentiment in early January, overshadowing an improved job outlook and passage of temporary federal tax breaks, a survey released on Friday showed.
A year-end surge in gasoline prices ratcheted up consumer inflation expectations to their highest in more than two years, according to the latest data from Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan.
The surveys’ preliminary January reading on the overall consumer sentiment slipped to 72.7, below 74.5 in December. It fell short of a 75.4 reading predicted by economists polled recently by Reuters.
Consumers’ current mood deteriorated with average gasoline prices stuck above $3 a gallon. The surveys’ barometer of current economic conditions was 79.8 in early January, down from 85.3 in December and below a forecast of 84.6.