Since buying stuff helps make the economy go round, we like to consider ourselves somewhat of a cheerleading section for consumers who are keeping upbeat about spending, giving the entire country a boost. So congratulations, everyone — the U.S. consumer sentiment index is at its highest level in more than four years in early May. Commence cheering.
Reuters reports that the new numbers come from data culled by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan, which shows American are remaining upbeat about the job market.
The overall index improved to 77.8 from 75.4 in April, which was better than a predicted forecast of 76.2. We haven’t been coasting on a level that high since January 2008. Break out the party hats!
Even though job growth has slowed down recently, almost twice as many consumers said they’d heard about new job gains more than job losses, the survey said. However, we were only a little bit more optimistic about declines in the unemployment rate than we were a year ago, with only one in four expecting it to fall.
Another good sign of spending are plans consumers have been making to buy vehicles and durable goods, with 65% saying they liked the conditions right now, the biggest percentage in over a year.
“Households are feeling more comfortable. It’s pretty good news for consumer spending,” said Gus Faucher, senior macroeconomist at PNC Financial Services in Pittsburgh.
Good job, everyone. Pardon me while I go buy that (miniature toy) Mercedes I’ve been eyeing.