Originally created 01/17/04

Consumer confidence at three-year high, U. Mich. reports

NEW YORK - The University of Michigan's index measuring consumers' collective mood soared in mid-January to its highest reading in three years, well above economists' expectations.

The mid-month report on consumer sentiment was said to have shown an increase to 103.2 from 92.6 in December, according to people in the market who had seen the report Friday.

January's reading is the highest since November 2000 and well above forecasts for a 94 reading, suggesting that consumers started the new year with considerable optimism, paving the way for robust growth in consumer spending and gross domestic product.

The current conditions index was said to have shown an increase to 108.9 from 97, while the expectations index was said to have risen to 99.5 from 89.8.

The University of Michigan report is released only to subscribers.


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