Consumer Sentiment Reaches Seven-Year High

New data from the University of Michigan shows U.S. consumer sentiment at its highest level since July 2007.

The U of M’s Sentiment Index was 86.9 in the October 2014 survey, up from 84.6 in September and 73.2 last October.

According to officials, the entire October gain was concentrated on a rise in consumer expectations. This portion of the survey was up by more than four points vs. September and by more than 17 points vs. October of 2013.

Americans’ views on current conditions actually dropped a bit from September to October. However, it remained well above the October 2013 level.

Survey takers found that Americans were quite positive about their own personal finances and the overall state of the economy. In these areas, the Sentiment Index has really picked up versus last year.

Interestingly, few of those polled were concerned about the global economic slowdown, military conflicts, or Ebola, officials said.

Their concerns – and their optimism – sprang from matters closer to home. This “kitchen table confidence” is exactly what economists hope to see heading into the all-important holiday shopping season.


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