|Consumer confidence up as economic optimism grows|
|Written by Jeremy Burns|
|Monday, 03 March 2014 01:21 PM EST|
Consumer confidence in the U.S. economy is looking up, according to a recent study. The University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters consumer-sentiment index rose to 81.6 at the end of February, versus a final reading of 81.2 at the end of January.
Some economists have predicted that consumer spending may increase as a result of the improved sentiment, particularly as the inclement weather that has plagued much of the country begins to abate. Wage growth and increased hiring have also been pinpointed as elements that could further improve consumer sentiment and spending.
“While the harsh winter weather has kept consumers away from retail outlets, it has not had a detrimental impact on their outlook for future economic conditions,” survey economist Richard Curtin said. “Consumers have displayed remarkable resilience in the face of the polar vortex as well as higher utility bills and minimal employment gains.”
The report also shows that a measure of consumer expectations grew from 71.2 in January to 72.7 in February, though consumers’ views on their current conditions declined from 96.8 to 95.4 during the same time period.