The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for May printed a higher reading than an earlier preliminary reading, rising from 77.8 to 79.3. This was better than expectations, as the index was expected to remain unchanged from the initial estimate at 77.8. The final May number is higher than April’s 76.4 reading to create a new high since October 2007.
A report released after the data noted that consumers were more upbeat mainly because they expect favorable employment trends despite the jobs slowdown recently reported by the Labor Department.”Fewer consumers reported hearing of job losses than at any time since mid-2007, and only a few mentioned potential impact from the European financial crisis.
The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index measures how consumers view their personal finances as well as business and buying conditions. It is a closely watched survey and is used by economists to get a feel for the direction of consumer spending.