WASHINGTON (5/20/13)--U.S. consumers gained significant optimism in May, according to the Thomson-Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index.
The early-May index jumped to 83.7 from 76.4 at the end of April. The April reading was revised from 72.3, an economist told The Wall Street Journal (May 17).
In early May, the current conditions index surged to 97.5 from 89.9 at the end of April, and the expectations index rose to 74.8 from 67.8.
The early May index gains suggest consumers are shrugging off the drag caused by cuts to federal spending, the Journal said. Declining gasoline prices, stronger housing markets and a rise in stock prices have mitigated the cuts, the Journal added.
Also, consumers do not anticipate much of a change in future inflation, with one-year inflation expectations remaining at 3.1%, and inflation expectations for the next five to 10 years dipping to 2.8% from 2.9% at the end of April, the report indicated.