U.S. consumer sentiment rose to its highest level in more than four years in early May as Americans remained upbeat about the job market, a survey released on Friday showed.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary May reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment improved to 77.8 from 76.4 in April, topping forecasts for 76.2. It was the highest level since January 2008.
Despite the recent slowdown in job growth, nearly twice as many consumers reported hearing about new job gains than said they had heard about recent job losses, the survey said.
The data suggests that either more positive numbers on the labor market will be seen soon, or that consumers have ratcheted up their expectations too high, survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement.
Housing demand is very closely tied to Consumer Sentiment reading, so this is more great news to go along with fantastic mortgage rates as the busy purchase season ramps up.