By Kathleen Madigan
U.S. consumers began this month feeling more worried about the economy's future, according to one survey of households released Friday.
The Thomson-Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary July sentiment index declined to 81.3 from a final-June reading of 82.5. It is about even with the June preliminary reading of 81.2.
The early-July reading is below the 83.0 reading expected by economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.
The lower figure is concentrated in worries about the future.
This month's early current-conditions index increased to 97.1 from a final June reading of 96.6. But the expectations index declined to 71.1 from 73.5. It is the third decline in the expectations reading.Economists had expected consumers to pump up their spending in the second quarter after shoppers were kept home by the harsh winter. But according to a survey of economists released Thursday by The Wall Street Journal, real consumer spending likely grew at a modest annual rate of 2.2% last quarter.
One drag has been rising prices for staples like food and gasoline. The higher prices are causing consumers to slightly lift their short-run outlooks for inflation overall but not their longer-run view.
According to the Michigan survey, the July preliminary one-year inflation expectations reading edged up to 3.3% from 3.1% at the end of June. Inflation expectations covering the next five to 10 years fell to 2.6% from 2.9%.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 18, 2014 10:20 ET (14:20 GMT)
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