Despite dark clouds in the global and U.S. economies, American consumers are feeling more upbeat than they have at any time since the fall of 2007.
That is according to an unexpectedly strong reading of consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters, released Friday. The report suggests that the holiday shopping season could turn out stronger than forecast. The widely followed index jumped to 83.1 in October – nearly a five-point gain from the previous month and the highest since September 2007. Sentiment improved for families making more than $75,000, as well as those making less.