Consumer sentiment in the U.S. unexpectedly saw a modest improvement in the month of February, according to Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan's revised report for the month, with the consumer sentiment index upwardly revised by much more than anticipated.
The report showed that the consumer sentiment index for February was upwardly revised to 75.3 from the mid-month reading of 72.5. Economists had expected the index to be upwardly revised to 73.0.
With the bigger than expected upward revision, the consumer sentiment index showed a modest increase compared to the January reading of 75.0. The index is now at its highest level since February of 2011.
The upward revision to the headline index came as both the current economic conditions index and the consumer expectations index came in higher than previously estimated.
The current economic conditions index was upwardly revised to 83.0 from 79.6 but still came in below the January reading of 84.2.
Meanwhile, the final reading on the consumer expectations index for February came in at 70.3, above the preliminary reading of 68.0 and the January reading of 69.1.
Peter Boockvar, managing director at Miller Tabak, said, "Right now, the improving labor market trumped rising gasoline prices in influencing confidence, which is good in that new jobs and wages can certainly help cushion the blow of an ever rising cost of living."
The report also showed that one-year inflation expectations held steady at 3.3 percent, while five-year inflation expectations edged up to 2.9 percent in February from 2.7 percent in January.
by RTT Staff Writer
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