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The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary consumer sentiment index fell to 90.7 in February from a final reading of 92.0 in January. Analysts had expected the index to remain unchanged at 92.0.
"The small early February decline was due to a less favourable outlook for the economy during the year ahead, while longer term prospects for the national economy remained unchanged at favourable levels," the Surveys of Consumers chief economist at the University of Michigan Richard Curtin said.
"The data indicate that real consumption expenditures can be expected to advance by 2.7% in 2016," he added.
The index of current economic conditions declined to 105.8 in February from 106.4 in January, while the index of consumer expectations decreased to 81.0 from 82.7.
The one-year inflation expectations remained unchanged at 2.5% in February.
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