WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure of consumer sentiment ticked higher this month, after soaring in December and January, underscoring that Americans are starting to feel better about the economy after several years of gloom.
The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index, released Friday, ticked up to 79.6 in February, from 79 in January.
Still, consumer sentiment remains 6% below its long-run average after the worst spike in inflation in four decades pushed up the cost of groceries, rent, gas, and other necessities, frustrating many consumers.
“Consumers continued to express confidence that the slowdown in inflation and strength in labor markets would continue.”Improving consumer confidence can often lead to greater spending, which can support economic growth.
Since the pandemic, however, consumer spending has been mostly healthy even when measures of sentiment were quite low.
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