American consumer confidence returns

Confidence grew amongst American consumers in September, according to the Reuters / University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index released today.

The index rose to 73.5 in September from 65.7 in August, reaching its highest level since the start of 2008 and beating the consensus forecast of 70.5. The previous highest total was 70.8, recorded in June.

The index of consumer expectations rose to 73.5 in September from 65.0 in August—the highest level recorded since September 2007.

The current economic conditions index reached its highest level for a year at 73.4, compared with 66.6 in August.

American consumers are becoming more confident about prospects for the national economy, inflation and the unemployment rate, the Reuters / University of Michigan survey said.

However, consumer spending is likely to remain suppressed. Most Americans surveyed said their own finances had worsened over the past year, and that they intended to prioritise reduction of debt and increasing savings.

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