Consumers are feeling more confident about the economy than they have in more than four years, according to the monthly consumer sentiment report by the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers.
The report posted the consumer sentiment index (CSI) at 79.3, above the 77.8 projected in early May. The CSI is five points higher in the year-to-year comparison. This report marks the ninth straight month where the CSI has posted an increase.
If the upward trend continues, the CSI could hit the 80s mark in June for the first time since late 2007.
Sixty-three percent of consumers, the highest percentage in a year, are feeling more confident about buying household durables, such as a refrigerator, or a washer and dryer, mainly due to the availability of price discounts. The report also noted that 72% of consumers with a household income of at least $75,000 are more positive about buying a new vehicle. This number is 15% higher than May 2011.
“The upbeat consumer reports on jobs could mean that more positive numbers will soon be reported by the government,” Richard Curtin, chief economist for the survey, said in the report’s press release, “or that consumers have yet again pushed their expectations beyond the likely performance of the economy.”
Curtin also said the consumer confidence was nearly as high the past two years before the gains were reversed.
-Dustin Bass, @dbass_cmn