U.S. consumer sentiment climbed in August from July as consumers remained optimistic about their personal financial conditions, although confidence was not quite as strong as economists had estimated, a survey showed Friday.
The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index rose to 96.8 in August from a final reading of 93.4 the month before. The result fell short of expectations for a reading of 97.4, according to a Reuters poll, and also slipped from a preliminary reading of 97.6 two weeks earlier.
“The Sentiment Index has been higher during the first eight months of 2017 than in any year since 2000, which was the peak year of the longest expansion in U.S. history,” said Richard Curtin, chief economist for the Surveys of Consumers.
Curtin said respondents’ assessments of their personal financial circumstances are near record highs, fueled by low unemployment, inflation and interest rates, and gains in home prices and stock