U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly surged to a 13-year high as Americans’ perceptions of the economy and their own finances rebounded following several major hurricanes, a University of Michigan survey showed Friday.
HIGHLIGHTS OF MICHIGAN SENTIMENT (OCTOBER, PRELIMINARY)
• Sentiment index rose to 101.1 (est. 95), highest since Jan. 2004, from 95.1 in Sept.
• Current conditions gauge, which measures Americans’ perceptions of their finances, jumped to 116.4, highest since Nov. 2000, from 111.7
• Expectations measure increased to 91.3, highest since Jan. 2004, from 84.4
The jump in sentiment, which was greater than any analyst had projected, may reflect several trends: falling gasoline prices following a hurricane-related spike; repeated record highs for the stock market; a 16-year low in unemployment; and post-storm recovery efforts driving a rebound in economic growth.
The advance in the main gauge spanned age and income subgroups as well as partisan views, according to the report. Almost six out of every 10 consumers thought the economy had recently improved in early October, the university said.