Before the holiday shopping season begins in earnest, U.S. consumer sentiment climbed to a five-month high, according to a Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey released Friday.
The preliminary sentiment index rose to 69.3 for November, mirroring economists’ expectations for a level of 69.0 in a Reuters poll.
Up from a reading of 67.7 in October and at its highest point since June, sentiment was helped by an improved outlook for jobs and wages as well as early holiday sales. Consumer sentiment averaged 88.9 in the five years before late 2007, when the recession began.
“Overall, confidence is still very weak but it is at least heading in the right direction,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics Ltd., in Valhalla, New York, in an analyst note.