U.S. consumers are feeling upbeat about the economy, according to data released today (Jan. 30). The optimism could keep consumer spending on a rising trend, but future sentiment gains may depend on wage growth accelerating.
The University of Michigan final January sentiment index eased slightly to 98.1 from the early January reading of 98.2, but both are far above the final December reading of 93.6. The report said the end-January index is the highest since January 2004.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected the final January reading to hold at 98.2.
This month’s final current conditions index increased to 109.3 from the preliminary reading of 108.3. The expectations index eased to 91.0 from 91.6.
Falling gasoline prices along with a stronger pace of job growth has lifted consumer spirits since the summer. “The improvement was due to consecutive gains in each of the past six months, with the Sentiment Index improving by 20% since July of 2014,” said the report. “Importantly, the gains in the past half-year were as large among households with incomes under $75,000 as over that amount.”
The Michigan report joins other surveys that indicate U.S. consumers view the economy very favorably in January. The Conference Board said Tuesday that its January confidence index hit its highest level since August 2007.
For the full story click here.