Economy

Consumer Confidence Falls from Six-Year High

Rising interest rates a contributing factor

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Consumer confidence in the U.S. unexpectedly dropped in August from a six-year high as Americans faced rising interest rates.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment fell to 80 from 85.1 in July, which was the highest since July 2007. The median projection of 68 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for little change at 85.2. The decline this month was the biggest since December.

Higher mortgage rates are threatening to crimp momentum in the housing market that's contributed to the economic expansion. At the same time, job growth and increased personal wealth tied to stock portfolios and home values are helping offset the effects of higher payroll taxes and federal government budget cuts that began early this year.