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US consumer sentiment index hits 98.4 in July, slightly topping June numbers

A customer browses products at a Walmart store in Burbank, California.

Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The University of Michigan’s final print on its consumer sentiment index for July came in at 98.4, matching its mid-month reading.

The index was just below expectations of 98.5, according to economists polled by Refinitiv. The reading is up from the 98.2 in June.

The survey also reported the strongest net personal financial expectations since May 2003.

“Economic confidence has been remarkably stable since the start of 2017, despite ongoing trade uncertainties. The resilience displayed has been primarily due to a renewed sense of personal financial optimism,” Richard Curtin, the chief economist for Surveys of Consumers, said in a news release.

The reading follows two macro shocks to the economy from earlier this week. The Federal Reserve implemented its first rate cut in more than a decade on Wednesday, lowering its target range for the federal funds rate by 25 basis points. On Thursday, President Donald Trump announced a new round of tariffs on goods imported from China.

“A key issue is whether the recently announced tariffs on Chinese imports, covering more commonly purchased consumer items, will spark an even more cautious outlook. Aside from its direct impact on spending, the much more important issue is how much it lessens overall consumer confidence,” Curtin said.

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This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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