US consumer confidence dips in August

Washington, Aug 31 (IANS) The consumer confidence in the US has dipped in August even as interest rates have gone up, says a consumer sentiment index.

The final reading of the consumer sentiment in August edged down to 82.1 from 85.1 in July, which was the highest since July 2007, according to the monthly Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index released Friday, reports Xinhua.

The sub-index of current economic conditions, which reflects Americans' perceptions of their financial situation and whether they consider it a good time to buy big-ticket items like houses or cars, edged down to 95.2 in August from a six-year high of 98.6 in July.

The sub-index gauging consumer expectations for six months from now, which projects the direction of consumer spending, dipped to 73.7 in August from 76.5 last month.

The long-term interest rates have spiked more than a full percentage point since early May on speculation that the Federal Reserve may start to scale back bond purchases in September, Xinhua said.

The US mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.51 percent in the week ending Aug 29, up from 3.59 percent a year ago.

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