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US consumer sentiment at 8-year high

[NEW YORK] US consumer sentiment rose in December to a near eight-year high on improved prospects for jobs and wages and on lower gasoline prices, a survey released on Friday showed.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment for this month came in at 93.8, the highest reading since Jan 2007 and above the median forecast of 89.5 among 70 economists polled by Reuters. The final November reading was 88.8.

The survey's gauge of consumer expectations rose to 86.1 from 79.9, also the highest since Jan 2007, and beating the 80.5 forecast.

The survey's barometer of current economic conditions rose to 105.7 from 102.7 and above the 101.4 forecast. It was the highest level since February 2007. "Expected wage gains rose to their highest level since 2008, and consumers voiced the most favorable buying attitudes in several decades," survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement.

The survey's one-year inflation expectation rose to 2.9 per cent from 2.8 per cent, while its five-year inflation outlook also rose to 2.9 per cent from 2.6 per cent last month.