Consumer Sentiment in U.S. Rose to Six-Month High in September

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. consumer sentiment rose to a six-month high in September and is near the highest level since 2004, the latest sign of growing confidence in the economy, a University of Michigan report showed Friday.

Highlights of Michigan Sentiment (Sept., Final)

  • Sentiment index increased to 100.1 (est. 100.6) from prior month’s 96.2; preliminary reading was 100.8
  • Current conditions gauge advanced to 115.2 from 110.3 in August; preliminary reading was 116.1
  • Expectations measure climbed to 90.5 from 87.1; preliminary reading was 91.1

Key Takeaways

While the gauge was down slightly from the preliminary reading and below economists’ projections, it exceeded 100 for just the third time since 2004. Improved sentiment is in line with other upbeat readings of the economy amid plentiful jobs, tax cuts and a roaring stock market, even with potential headwinds from intensifying trade disputes. Forty-four percent of consumers expect improved finances, the most since 2004, according to the survey.

The Michigan index follows a jump in the Conference Board’s confidence measure to an 18-year high, while the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index is at the highest since December 2000.

Official’s Views

“All households held very optimistic expectations for improved personal finances in the year ahead,” Richard Curtin, director of the University of Michigan consumer survey, said in a statement. “The single issue that was cited as having a potential negative impact on the economy was tariffs.”