U.S. Consumer Sentiment Improves More Than Initially Estimated In September

Revised data released by the University of Michigan on Friday showed consumer sentiment in the U.S. improve by more than previously estimated in the month of September.

The report said the consumer sentiment index for September was upwardly revised to 80.4 from the preliminary reading of 78.9. Economists had expected the index to be upwardly revised to 79.0.

With the bigger than expected upward revision, the consumer sentiment index is well above the final August reading of 74.1.

“Consumer sentiment continued to improve in late September, with the Sentiment Index reaching its highest level in six months,” said Surveys of Consumers chief economist Richard Curtin. “The gains were mainly due to a more optimistic outlook for the national economy.

“While consumers have anticipated gains in the national economy ever since the April shutdown, the September survey recorded a significant increase in the proportion that expected a reestablishment of good times financially in the overall economy,” he added.

Curtin called the recent gains encouraging but noted they were largely due to upper income households, with data indicating lower income households face continued income and job losses.

The report showed the index of consumer expectations for September was upwardly revised to 75.6 from 73.3. The index came in at 68.5 in August.

The current economic conditions index for September ticked up to 87.8 from the preliminary reading of 87.5 and compares to a reading of 82.9 in the previous month.

On the inflation front, the report said one-year inflations expectations tumbled to 2.6 percent in September from 3.1 percent in August, while five-year inflation expectations were unchanged at 2.7 percent.

The Conference Board released a separate report on Tuesday showing a much bigger than expected increase its reading on consumer confidence in the month of September.

The report said the consumer confidence index jumped to 101.8 in September from 86.3 in August, while economists had expected the index to rise to 88.8.

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