The sell-off in the stock market and rising problems in Europe aren’t rattling the US consumer whose sentiment is clearly stronger than it’s ever been during the recovery. The Reuters/University of Michigan index jumped to 79.3, up nearly 3 points from April and up 1.5 points from the mid-month reading. This last comparison, which puts the index at an implied 80.8 over the past two weeks, indicates that the rise in optimism is now picking up intensity…
The Reuter’s/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index in early May was up a solid 1.4 points at mid-month to a preliminary 77.8 versus April’s 76.4. The latest reading edged out February 2011 for the best reading so far of the recovery. The latest report showed a decline in the expectations component, which is now off recovery highs with a six tenth dip to 71.7. Optimism over the future is limited, a factor that limits consumer spending. The good news in the report was a rise in the assessment of current conditions, up a very strong 4.4 points to a recovery best 87.3.
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