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Consumer sentiment climbs again in June as reopening U.S. economy eases worries

The reopening U.S. economy has lifted the spirits of consumers, but they still expect tough times. The numbers: The step-by-step reopening of the economy and the increase in the number of people returning to work buoyed the spirits of U.S. households in early June, according to a closely followed survey of consumer sentiment.

The preliminary reading of the consumer-sentiment survey rose to 78.9 in June from 72.3 in May, marking the second straight increase, the University of Michigan said Friday . Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a reading of 75.

What happened: Consumers are more hopeful that a U.S. recovery is firmly underway and a record number of participants expect the unemployment to decline from May’s official 13.3% rate.

A portion of the sentiment survey that examines how Americans view the present climbed to 87.8 from 82.3 points.

Similarly, another part of the survey that gauges attitudes for the next six months moved up to 73.1 from 65.9.

Yet even though Americans are alarmed, most still expect tough times in the year ahead. They worry about further viral outbreaks and the threat to the economy from persistently high unemployment.“Despite the expected economic gains, few consumers anticipate the reestablishment of favorable economic conditions […]

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