US consumer sentiment September 2019 preliminary

A shopper browses clothing at a Kohl’s Corp. department store in Peru, Illinois

Daniel Acker| Bloomberg | Getty Images

Sentiment in the U.S. rose more than expected this month as consumers felt more confident about current and future economic conditions, according to preliminary data released Friday by the University of Michigan.

The September print on consumer sentiment rose to 92 from 89.8 in August, the university’s Surveys of Consumers data showed. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected sentiment to rise to 91.  The current economic conditions index also rose to 106.9 from 105.3.

However, while consumers feel more confident about the economy, worries about the impact of tariffs on the economy increased in early September. Richard Curtin, chief economist for the Surveys of Consumers, said 38% of all consumers made “spontaneous references to the negative impact of tariffs, the highest percentage since March 2018.”

“Those who negatively mentioned tariffs also held more negative views on the overall outlook for the economy as well as anticipated higher inflation and unemployment in the year ahead,” Curtin said.

China and the U.S. have been embroiled in a trade war since last year with both countries slapping tariffs on billions of dollars worth of their goods.

However, sentiment around U.S.-China trade relations improved this week after President Donald Trump said he is open to reaching an interim deal with the Chinese. China will also reportedly exempt some U.S. agricultural products from tariffs.

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