US consumer sentiment and expectations decreased in February, according to data released by the University of Michigan on Friday.

The index of consumer sentiment plummeted 5.5 points to 61.7 in February, from 67.2 in January, according to preliminary results from a survey compiled from around 500 consumers.

The index of current economic conditions also fell 3.5 points to 68.5, down from 72.0 during the previous month.

The index of consumer expectations also decreased 6.7 points to 57.4, from 64.1 in January.

“Sentiment continued its downward descent, reaching its worst level in a decade, falling a stunning 8.2% from last month and 19.7% from last February,” Richard Curtin, chief economist with Surveys of Consumers, said in a statement.

“The recent declines have been driven by weakening personal financial prospects, largely due to rising inflation, less confidence in the government’s economic policies, and the least favorable long term economic outlook in a decade,” he added.

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