The soaring stock market and the growing number of available jobs sparked a renewed sense of consumer optimism about the economy in February, according to the University of Michigan-Thomson Reuters consumer-sentiment index. The gauge rose from a reading of 73.8 in January to reach a three-month high of 77.6 last month.
February’s final reading surpassed the expectations of economists polled by MarketWatch, who had been predicting a final reading of 76.4 in February. Meanwhile, the current conditions index also rose, from 85 in January to 89 last month. In addition, the gauge of consumers’ expectations registered a 70.2 reading in February, up from 66.6 the month before. Other recently released economic data painted a positive picture of the economy as well. According to data released by the federal government, consumer spending rose in January despite the increase in payroll taxes.Back To Blog