US consumer sentiment up more than expected early Dec

NEW YORK, Dec 10 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. consumer sentiment rose
more than expected in early December while an index of current
conditions jumped to its highest level since January 2008, a
survey released on Friday showed.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s preliminary
December reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment
came in at 74.2, up from 71.6 in November.

That was the best level for sentiment since June and the
third-highest level since the start of 2008, according to the
survey. It was also above the the median forecast of 72.5 among
economists polled by Reuters.

At the same time, the survey’s barometer of current
economic conditions rose to 85.7 versus 82.1 in November, and
it was above a forecast of 83.1. It was also the highest
reading since January 2008, just after the economic downturn
began.

Earlier this week, U.S. President Barack Obama forged a
compromise to extend the Bush-era tax breaks for two years,
bolstering expectations for consumer spending and the economy.
The news, however, came after the survey was completed.

“While the recently negotiated tax agreement…occurred too
late to have much impact on the data, a widespread expectation
among consumers that the Bush tax cuts would be extended
existed,” the survey’s director Richard Curtin said in a
statement.

The survey’s gauge of consumer expectations rose to 66.8.
It was above November’s 64.8 and slightly higher than a
predicted reading of 66.4.

The survey’s one-year inflation expectations measure dipped
to 2.9 percent in December from 3.0 percent in November, while
the survey’s five-to-10-year inflation outlook index was at 2.7
percent in December compared with 2.8 percent the previous
month.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch, Editing by Chizu
Nomiyama)

US consumer sentiment up more than expected early Dec