U.S. Consumer Confidence at Pre-Pandemic High

Americans feel better in their pocketbook, if not in the area of health, according to the latest numbers from the University of Michigan.

The school said the preliminary reading of its U.S. consumer sentiment index in September was 78.9, up from 74.1 in the prior month.

Economists expected a reading of 75.9, for the sentiment indicator covers how consumers view their personal finances as well as business and buying conditions.

The index reportedly hit its "best level since March," but experts also say "longer-run inflation expectations ticked down to 2.6% while near-term inflation expectations slipped to 2.7%, the lowest since April."

Their suspicion is that "as supply and capacity constraints ease, inflation will moderate along with expectations thereof."

The amount of confidence Americans have in the economy and their own financial security has a good record of predicting the future. Until they feel more secure, the economy is unlikely to make a rapid recovery from the coronavirus recession.