September UMich consumer sentiment rises to 57.8 (by Ruth Mantell)
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- A gauge of consumer sentiment rose to 57.8 in the preliminary reading for September after tumbling to a nearly three-year low 55.7 in August, according to Friday reports on the gauge from Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a slight rise to 57.3 with stock volatility and weak employment maintaining downward pressure on consumers' sentiment. In August, sentiment had reached the lowest level since November 2008 with Washington's protracted debt-ceiling negotiations taking a toll on consumers. The sentiment reading, which covers how consumers view their personal finances as well as business and buying conditions, averaged about 87 in the year before the start of the most recent recession.