University of Michigan: Consumer sentiment rises this month to highest level since January

Economic Indicators Associated Press

Consumer sentiment rose this month to the highest level since January, suggesting that spending will strengthen this year.

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The University of Michigan says its consumer sentiment index rose to 96.1 this month from 90.7 in May. The June reading was the highest since January's 98.1.

For the first six months of 2015, consumer optimism improved at the fastest pace since 2004, three years before the Great Recession, said Richard Curtin, chief economist for the Michigan survey.

Curtis says the readings are consistent with a 3 percent increase in consumer spending this year. The Commerce Department said this week that consumer spending rose at an annual pace of 2.1 percent from January through March.