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September consumer sentiment tops triple digit mark for only the third time since January 2004

Key Points
  • The University of Michigan's monthly survey of consumers hit 100.1 in the final reading of September.
  • "All households held very optimistic expectations for improved personal finances in the year ahead, the most favorable financial prospects since 2004," Richard Curtin, chief economist for The University of Michigan's survey, said in a statement.
A shopper at a Walmart in East Peoria, Illinois.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Consumer sentiment was just under expectations in the final reading of September but the index remained near all-time high levels.

The University of Michigan's monthly survey of consumers hit 100.1 in the final reading of September, below the 100.8 expected from economists polled by Reuters. Sentiment among consumers rose from August's final reading, when sentiment hit 96.2.

"Consumer sentiment remained at very favorable levels in September, with the Index topping 100.0 for only the third time since January 2004," Richard Curtin, chief economist for The University of Michigan's survey, said in a statement.

"All households held very optimistic expectations for improved personal finances in the year ahead, the most favorable financial prospects since 2004," Curtin added.

The index has slumped since March when it reached its highest level since 2004 with a reading of 101.4.

The survey considers 500 consumers' outlook on economic prospects, accounting for sentiment on personal finances, inflation, unemployment, government policies and interest rates.

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Economy

US consumer spending increased steadily in August

Key Points
  • U.S. consumer spending increased steadily in August.
  • A measure of underlying inflation remained at the Federal Reserve's 2 percent target for a fourth straight month.
  • The Commerce Department said consumer spending rose 0.3 percent last month after an unrevised 0.4 percent gain in July.
  • Personal income rose 0.3 percent, while wages jumped 0.5 percent.