U.S. consumer sentiment rose more than expected in September, suggesting that Americans are more optimistic about the economy.
Sentiment index rose to 100.8 in September, up from 96.2 in the previous month, according to the University of Michigan’s Surveys of Consumers Friday. The level hit a six-month high and is the second highest of the year. Economists polled by Reuters had estimated the consumer sentiment to reach 96.6 in September.
Consumers said the increase in income and wealth helped to improve the optimistic sentiment. Strong stock market performance and higher property values also increased consumers’ spending.
However, the report said there were concerns over the negative impact of tariffs and how they may affect the economy.
“Concerns about the negative impact of tariffs on the domestic economy were spontaneously mentioned by nearly one-third of all consumers in the past three months, up from one-in-five in the prior four months,” according to the report.
Consumers also expected slower gains in prices. Inflation expectation for 2018 fell to 2.8%, compared with expectation of 3% in August.
“Personal finances remained very strong due to gains in income and household wealth,” Richard Curtin, Director of the University of Michigan consumer survey, said in a statement. However, “the largest problem cited on the economic horizon involved the anticipated negative impact from tariffs.”