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Consumer sentiment hits nine-month high in April

A shopper walks down an aisle in a newly opened Walmart Neighborhood Market in Chicago in this September 21, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Jim Yo
A shopper walks down an aisle in a newly opened Walmart Neighborhood Market in Chicago in this September 21, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Jim Yo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. consumer sentiment rose in April to its highest in nine months as both current conditions and expectations brightened, a survey released on Friday showed.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary April reading on the overall index of consumer sentiment came in at 82.6, the highest since July, compared with the final reading of 80.0 in March.

It was also above the median forecast of 81.0 among economists polled by Reuters.

"Economic news reaching consumers grew more favorable in early April," survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement.

"Net reports on changes in employment were more favorable, and negative mentions about current economic policies eased."

The survey's barometer of current economic conditions rose to 97.1 from 95.7 and above a forecast of 96.3.

The survey's gauge of consumer expectations rose to 73.3 from 70.0 and beat an expected 71.4.

The survey's one-year inflation expectation dipped to 3.1 percent from 3.2 percent, while the survey's five-to-10-year inflation outlook edged up to 3.0 percent from 2.9 percent.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

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