12 December 2011

 

Consumers are feeling more optimistic about the economy this month. 

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment increased to 67.7 percent, the highest level since June, from 64.1 percent November.

The figures beat estimates during a critical phase for the nation’s economy. 

The index averaged around 90 between 2002 and when the recession began in December 2007. The downturn officially ended in June 2009 while the nation’s economy shows slow improvement. 

The index of current conditions index — a measure of whether of current financial situations and whether consumers consider it a good time to make big ticket purchases, such as cars — increased slightly to 77.9 percent from 77.6 percent.  

Looking ahead six months, a good gauge of consumer spending, Americans are more optimistic, with the index climbing to 61.1 percent from 55.4 percent.