U.S. consumer sentiment rose to its strongest in five months in December as Americans' outlook on the economy and job prospects improved, a survey released on Monday showed.
The final reading on the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's overall index of consumer sentiment jumped to 82.5 for December, up from the 75.1 posted in November but unchanged from the preliminary reading released earlier this month.
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This was the highest reading for the index since July, though it was slightly under expectations for a reading of 83.
"Most of the gain was due to more favorable buying plans due to renewed discounting as well as more favorable short-term prospects for the economy,'' survey director Richard Curtin wrote in a statement. "Personal finances, the most critical factor that shapes consumer spending, did improve in late December, although largely due to rising incomes and wealth among those in the top third.''