Consumer confidence rose in May to the highest level in almost six years as a rising stock market and property values helped lift Americans’ outlook on the economy.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of sentiment increased to 84.5 in May, the strongest since July 2007, from 76.4 a month earlier. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for the gauge to hold at its preliminary reading of 83.7.
The increase in personal wealth from higher real-estate values and stock prices that’s bolstering sentiment may help keep consumer spending from faltering after a decline in April. Household finances also helping blunt the effect of higher payroll taxes and federal budget cuts that threaten to limit hiring.