Consumer sentiment index hits 98.5 in January vs estimate of 98.1

A shopper carries Gump's shopping bags in San Francisco.
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A measure of consumers' attitudes just rose in January to its highest level since 2004, the University of Michigan reported on Friday.

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment hit 98.5 in January, up from 98.2 in the prior month.

Economist expected the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment to hit 98.1 in January, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

"The post-election surge in confidence was driven by a more optimistic outlook for the economy and job growth during the year ahead as well as more favorable economic prospects over the next five years," said Richard Curtin, Surveys of Consumers chief economist.

He continued: "Overall, the post-election surge in consumer confidence was based on political promises, and not, as yet, on economic outcomes."

The monthly survey of 500 consumers measures attitudes toward topics, such as personal finances, inflation, unemployment, government policies and interest rates.