Confidence in the US economy continues to fluctuate according to preliminary reports from the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment survey.

Mid-September figures from the subscription-only report, which looks at current economic circumstances and views of the future, apparently show a slight dip in confidence levels but a small rise in the expectations index.

House prices are highlighted as the cause for optimism. Those surveyed say the outlook for property values is a good incentive to buy homes now, despite worries among economists that the housing market has become overheated.

US Federal Reserve officials say they would rather wait to see how consumers spend in reality than rely on mere intentions.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff