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Consumer Sentiment Beats Forecasts in Early November Reading

rising-arrowsConsumer sentiment in the United States jumped more than two points in a preliminary November estimate, beating economic forecasts and hitting a more than seven-year high.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment registered 89.4 in a mid-month reading, the best showing since July 2007. Economists had forecast the measure would hit 87.5, with some predicting as high as 89.

The survey's current conditions indicator climbed to 103.0, up from 98.3, UMich reported. The expectations gauge also bumped up, increasing to 80.6. Both scores were the highest since 2007.

Chris Christopher, director of U.S. consumer economics at IHS Global Insight, said lower gas prices are the primary cause for Americans' cheery mood, though employment growth helped.

"Falling pump prices and elevated levels of consumer mood are likely to make fourth quarter real consumer spending growth relatively robust," Christopher said in a note. "So, the fourth quarter is looking significantly more cheerful for consumers and retailers alike."

About Author: Tory Barringer

Tory Barringer began his journalism career in early 2011, working as a writer for the University of Texas at Arlington's student newspaper before joining the DS News team in 2012. In addition to contributing to DSNews.com, he is also the online editor for DS News' sister publication, MReport, which focuses on mortgage banking news.

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