U.S. consumer sentiment rose in March from February, as Americans discounted the effects of government budget cuts and instead saw continued healing in the labor market, a survey released on Friday showed.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final reading on the overall index of consumer sentiment came in at 78.6, up from 77.6 the month before.
The final March figure was up sharply from the preliminary reading of 71.8, and above the median forecast of 72.5 among economists polled by Reuters. It was also the highest reading since November.
Consumer confidence jumped sharply in the second half of the month, erasing the decline of the first half of March, survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement.