* Sentiment 77.8 vs 76.2 consensus
* current conditions 87.3 vs 83.0 consensus
* expectations 71.7 vs 72.5 consensus
* 12 month outlook and inflation expectations close to unchanged
* sentiment index and current conditions highest since 1/2008
(Reuters) – U.S. consumer sentiment rose to
its highest in more than four years in early May as Americans
remained upbeat about the job market, a survey released on
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary May
reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment improved to
77.8 from 76.4 in April, topping forecasts for 76.2.
It was the highest reading since January 2008.
Despite the recent slowdown in job growth, nearly twice as
many consumers reported hearing about new job gains than said
they had heard about recent job losses, the survey said.
The data suggests that either more positive numbers on the
labor market will be seen soon, or that consumers have ratcheted
up their expectations too high, survey director Richard Curtin
said in a statement.
“The most likely prospect is that job growth returns to a
modest pace of gains and consumers trim their overly optimistic
expectations, with not much change in overall confidence until
after the November (presidential) election and the decisions on
tax policy,” said Curtin.