The preliminary UoM confidence number at 77.8 was above expectations of 76, up from 76.4 in April and the highest since Jan ’08. The Current Conditions component led the gain as it rose 4.4 pts while the Outlook fell .6 pts. While a coincident indicator rather than something leading in terms of consumer behavior, it’s likely that the continued drop in gasoline prices had a positive impact as one yr inflation expectations fell to 3.1% from 3.2%, matching the lowest since Dec ’10. AAA said gasoline prices as of yesterday fell another .04 on the week to $3.73, the lowest since late Feb.
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