U.S. consumer sentiment towards the economy, their own finances and spending dipped in early October according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s preliminary reading of its monthly overall consumer sentiment index released today. The index sagged to 57.5 from 59.4 the previous month, The reading fell short of median forecasts of about 60 among economists polled by Reuters, Bloomberg and MarketWatch, the organizations reported. The index had averaged 89 in the five years leading up to the recession that began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009, Bloomberg reported. The Index of Consumer expectations, which gauges attitudes toward personal finances and the general economy in the short- and long-term, fell from 49.4 to 47, its lowest level in more than 30 years. This component, Reuters noted, has lsot more than 20 points since last January. Nearly 40 percent of consumers blake loss of income as the primary reason why their financial situation as gotten worse, while 65 percent of households do not expect to see an income increase in the year ahead. Both levels were the highest-ever recorded by the survey. Fears of inflation, however, eased. One-year inflation expectation dipped from 3.3 percent to 3.2 percent, while the five-ti-19-year inflation outlook fell to 2.7 percent from 2.9 percent.