U.S. consumer confidence improved in October, market sources said Friday, as the nation's long-dormant job market showed signs of life.

The University of Michigan (search) 's index of consumer sentiment rose to 89.4 in October, the sources said, beating economists' forecasts of a rise to 88.0 and up from a final reading of 87.7 in September.

The survey's current conditions index climbed to 102.2, from 98.4 in September. The expectations index, which tracks perceptions about the future of the economy, rose slightly to 81.2 from 80.8 in September.

The University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey, which is released only to paying subscribers, is based on telephone interviews with 500 U.S. households over the course of the month on personal finances and business and buying conditions.

The preliminary survey, released about midway through the month, is based on the first 250 interviews.