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Economic Report: Consumer sentiment drops to record low as inflation worries grip U.S.

The numbers: The final survey of U.S. consumer sentiment fell to an all-time low of 50 in June, reflecting broad angst about high inflation and especially record gas prices.

The index registered a preliminary 50.2 earlier in the month, which was the lowest reading in the history of the 44-year-old survey. The report is produced by the University of Michigan.

Big picture: The worst U.S. inflation in 40 years is taking a toll on the economy. Consumers are balking at higher prices and seeing their standard of living decline and businesses struggling to cope as well.

The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates aggressively to try to tame the surge in prices, but the central bank risks triggering a recession. Higher rates slow the economy.

For now, economists are split on whether a recession is likely and those who predict one believe it probably won’t happen until next year or the year after.

Key details: A gauge that measure what consumers think about their own financial situation and the current health of the economy slipped to 53.8 from a preliminary 55.4.

Another measure that asks about expectations for the next six months rose to 47.5 from an initial 46.8.

Market reaction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
+2.00%

and S&P 500
SPX,
+2.32%

rose in Friday trades, extending a recent rally.

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