A better hiring outlook and lower gas prices pushed U.S. consumer confidence to its highest level in four and a half years.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A better hiring outlook and lower gas prices pushed U.S. consumer confidence to its highest level in four and a half years.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment jumped to 79.3 in May, up from 76.4 in the previous month. That's the best reading since October 2007, two months before the recession began.
A high proportion of consumers say they are hearing about job gains rather than losses. The number of those who say they heard of job losses dropped to its lowest point since mid-2007.
Gas prices have also fallen steadily in recent weeks, freeing up more money for other purchases. The average gas price Friday was $3.67 per gallon nationwide, according to AAA. That's down 17 cents in the past month.