NEW YORK (Reuters) - Consumer sentiment rose more than expected in April as worries about the impact of higher oil prices on economic growth eased slightly, a survey released on Friday showed.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary April reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment came in at 69.6, up from 67.5 in March. * It was also above the median forecast of 68.5 among economists polled by Reuters. * The sentiment reading is still below February's level, with March sentiment the lowest in more than a year.
TOM PORCELLI, CHIEF U.S. ECONOMIST, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS, NEW
YORK, NEW YORK
"It is a pretty solid report overall and it is always good to see a rise but you do have to put in proper context since it is still at a relatively low level. Inflation expectations stayed high in the one-year space, but the 5-year measure eased. Janet Yellen highlighted this week that the 5-year expectations are a key factor driving policy, so the fact that that eased gives the doves some cover and adds to sentiment that rates will stay low this year and well into next year."
SEAN INCREMONA, ECONOMIST, 4CAST LTD, NEW YORK
"Its on the firmer side of market expectations and it's a rebound from the terrible number we saw last month, so this is pretty encouraging. It's still not at very strong levels but it does show that some of the downside form gasoline prices and the global uncertainty that surfaced last month is contained. A positive employment outlook and such could be offsetting some of those negatives from gasoline."
"This number helps keeps the outlook for the consumer positive."
STOCKS: Dow, S&P 500 indexes hold slight earlier gains.
BONDS: U.S. bond prices add slightly to strong earlier gains.
FOREX: The dollar pares gains versus the euro