U.S. consumer sentiment rose in October to the highest in more than seven years, fueled by views people’s personal finances and the national economy are improving.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary October reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment, which is contradictory to the vast majority of public opinion polls, came in at 86.4. The reading was the highest since July 2007. The gains were unexpected — raising the potential the survey was an outlier — as a Reuters survey showed a forecast for a slip to 84.1 from last month’s 84.6 reading.
“The data show absolutely no signs that fear and panic is about to overtake the consumer sector,” survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement, pointing to “broader concerns about the global economic meltdown, escalating military conflicts, and rising concerns about Ebola.”
The survey’s gauge of consumer expectations also rose to hit 78.4, which is also the highest measured since October 2012 and up from 75.4. Economists forecast a reading of 74.4.
The survey’s barometer of current economic conditions was unchanged at 98.9 and also beat its forecast of 98.0.
The survey’s one-year inflation expectation fell to 2.8 percent from 3.0 percent, while the survey’s five-to-10-year inflation outlook held steady at 2.8 percent.