Consumers are super bullish about their personal finances

Superman shoppers consumers times square
Customers shop in Toys R Us in Times Square on Thanksgiving evening for early Black Friday sales. Yana Paskova/Getty

Consumer confidence rose more than expected in February, according to the University of Michigan’s latest survey of consumers.

The headline consumer sentiment index came in at 91.7.

The Surveys of Consumers chief economist Richard Curtin said in the report that most of the decline from the index’s peak of 98.1 last January was in the economic outlook one year out.

Meanwhile, consumers’ view on their personal finances rose to the best level in 10 years. That’s partly because their expectations for future inflation are very low, implying that they don’t expect higher prices to be a drag on their real incomes.

Economists had forecast that the sentiment index rose to 91 in February from 90.7 in the prior month, according to Bloomberg.

Curtin wrote that the 6.5% decline from where the index peaked in January 2015 “is hardly consistent with the onset of a downturn in consumer spending.”

“Consumers’ most important concern involves how much the slowdown in GDP growth will affect employment growth,” Curtin said. “At present, consumers anticipate only a slight negative impact on jobs.

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