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Michigan consumer measure flat
Reuters: Preliminary May sentiment survey shows no change from April; forecasts called for gain.
May 14, 2004: 10:24 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Consumer sentiment did not change in the initial May reading from the University of Michigan survey, despite economic data that showed an improving economy, according to sources obtained by Reuters.

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The survey's preliminary May reading came in at 94.2, unchanged from the final April reading, the sources said. Analysts surveyed by Briefing.com forecast the index would rise to 96.0.

The twice-monthly survey results are released to subscribers. The preliminary survey consists of responses from about 300 households, while the final survey is rounded out at month-end with another 200 replies.

A number of economic reports, particularly the April employment report, have shown an improving economy. But consumers have also had to face rising food and energy prices, as well as declines in the U.S. stock and bond prices.

Reuters said the survey's current conditions index rose to 107 from 105 in April, giving it the strongest reading since January. But the expectations index declined again to 85.8 from 87.3 the previous month, marking the fourth straight monthly decline.

"People recognize that the economy is getting stronger and job creation is more in their favor, but the outlook is impaired by oil prices and events abroad," said David Littman, chief economist at Comerica Bank in Detroit told Reuters. "Uncertainty is overwhelming what consumers know to be better economic conditions."  Top of page


Reuters contributed to this report




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