NEW YORK – U.S. consumer sentiment (search) rose in June as gasoline prices were not as problematic as some had feared and job prospects improved, according to indications from a report on Friday.
The University of Michigan (search) said its measure of confidence rose to 96.0 in June from 86.9 in May, according to market sources who saw the subscription-only report. The preliminary June reading was 94.8.
The survey's expectations component rose to 85.0 in June from 75.3 in May, while sentiment on current conditions rose to 113.2 from 104.9 in May.
Oil prices dipped in mid-May and the lower prices filtered through to give some relief at the gasoline pump in June, while labor market prospects have improved in recent weeks.
Consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of overall U.S. economic activity, and any improvement in confidence is seen as a precursor to stronger growth.
However, in recent years the correlation between confidence and retail sales has weakened, with consumers buying new cars and homes in earnest even as they tell surveys that things are getting worse.