Consumer Sentiment Gains In January On Fiscal Deal Optimism
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Consumer sentiment unexpectedly improved in January as Americans felt Washington's deal to avert the "fiscal cliff" at the beginning of the year boded well for the economy, a survey released on Friday showed.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final reading on the overall index of consumer sentiment rose to 73.8 from 72.9 in December, topping economists' forecasts for 71.5.
It also marked an improvement from early January's 71.3 preliminary figure, which had been the lowest level in over a year. Survey interviews were done before data earlier this week showed the economy contracted in the fourth quarter.
The agreement reached in Washington earlier in January averted the full brunt of tax increases and spending cuts that had been set to come into effect. But taxes did increase for some Americans, and a 2 percent reduction in payroll taxes came to an end.