Consumer sentiment improved in December from November on some income growth and less gloomy job conditions, a survey showed on Wednesday.
The Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers said the final December reading on the index of consumer sentiment was 72.5, the highest since September. It was up from 67.4 in November and 60.1 a year ago.
But the latest figure fell short of analysts' median expectation of 73.5, according to a Reuters poll. It was also below the preliminary December figure of 73.4.
The gauge on current economic conditions rose to 78.0 from 68.8 in November but this was below an expected 79.1.
The barometer on consumer expectations climbed to 68.9 from 66.5 in November but was below a forecast 69.7.
"Consumers' evaluations of their personal finances improved slightly in December, but the gains still left their overall assessments at quite negative levels," Richard Curtin, director of the Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers said in a statement.
Within the survey, the 1-year inflation expectation gauge eased to 2.5 percent from 2.7 percent in late November, while the barometer on inflation over the next five to 10 years slipped to 2.7 percent from 3.0 late last month.