For four consecutive months now, consumers have increasingly felt better about the economy.
The Thomson-Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose to 84.9 from October’s final reading of 82.6.
This Website Is For Financial Professionals Only
It’s the strongest reading since the middle of 2007. It beat economists’ expectations of a reading of 83.
Yet some analysts are a bit skeptical of the optimistic report, thinking that a report closer to month end might better reflect factors from Superstorm Sandy.
The report also does not reflect the post-election downtrade in the stock market.
In other sentiment reports, the current conditions index increased to 91.3%, the highest reading since January 2008.
The expectations index rose almost two points to 80.8. This is the highest reading on that index since July 2007.
A second storm hit areas affected by Sandy the very next week. How well those areas recover and how the stock markets perform may have a bearing on sentiment going into the holiday season.
The holiday season, of course, will be particularly impactful
on retail sales. Everything has greater meaning in an economy that seems to just now be getting some footing against the backdrop of a looming fiscal cliff.