US consumers haven’t been this optimistic about the economy since the start of 2004, according to a survey conducted by the University of Michigan.
The consumer-sentiment index registered a preliminary October reading of 101.1, a monthly report showed Friday.
The data show that consumer spending will likely continue to support the economy through at least mid-2018, at which time this economic expansion would become the second-longest since the 19th century.
US economic growth in the second quarter rose to a two-year high on stronger consumer and business spending, a late-September report showed.
The surge in optimism “reflects an unmistakable sense among consumers that economic prospects are now about as good as could be expected,” said Richard Curtin, the chief economist of the survey.
“This ‘as good as it gets’ outlook is supported by a moderation in the expected pace of growth in both personal finances and the overall economy, accompanied by a growing sense that, even with this moderation, it would still mean the continuation of good economic times.”
But consumers continue to expect slow wage growth, and limits on how quickly their living standards will improve, according to the survey.
Consumer sentiment spiked after President Donald Trump’s election largely along partisan lines: Republicans turned much more optimistic while Democrats turned more bearish on the economy’s direction.
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