Consumer confidence declines for a second month

Last Updated Aug 14, 2015 1:52 PM EDT

Consumer sentiment receded slightly in August, according to the University of Michigan's initial take on the month, as Americans ready for a hike in interest rates.

The index fell to 92.9 from 93.1 in July, according to the data.

"The declines in prospects for the economy probably reflect the expected increases in interest rate hikes," Richard Curtin, director of the Michigan Survey of Consumers, wrote in a statement.

The Federal Reserve is viewed as likely to increase its benchmark rate off historic lows as soon as next month.

"In short, largely unchanged. At 92.9, the index is down from as high as 98.1 earlier this year, when gasoline prices were plunging, but it is still up from 84.1, on average, in 2014," Jim O'Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, emailed.

Sentiment ebbed as economic growth stalled at prior-year levels, with economists at Macroeconomic Advisers revising down their forecast of GDP growth by 0.3 percentage points in 2016 to 2.6 percent and by 0.1 percentage point in 2017 to 2.2 percent.

The estimates imply that "fundamentally" the economy grew 2.4 percent during the first half of 2015, roughly in line with growth over 2013 and 2014, Macroeconomic Advisers noted.