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US consumer confidence reaches highest level in 13 years

U.S. consumer sentiment increased 6.3% in October from the previous month and was up 15.9% from October 2016, according to preliminary data from a University of Michigan survey.

The consumer sentiment index increased to 101.1 in October, its highest level since the start of 2004, compared with 95.1 in September and 87.2 in October 2016. The index of consumer expectations rose to 91.3 from 84.4 in September. The current economic conditions index climbed to 116.4 in October from 111.7 in the previous month.

"The data indicate a robust outlook for consumer spending that extends the current expansion to at least mid 2018, which would mark the 2nd longest expansion since the mid 1800s," said University of Michigan Chief Economist Richard Curtin.

Consumers expect low unemployment, low inflation, small increases in interest rates and modest income gains in the year ahead, Curtin said, adding that consumers have accepted limits on the pace of improving prospects for living standards due to lackluster growth rates in personal income and in the overall economy.