Consumer sentiment rose in June to its highest since January 2008 while reports of job losses were down sharply from a year ago, a survey showed on Friday.
A gauge of current economic conditions also rose to its highest since January 2008, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's Surveys of Consumers.
The final June reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment rose to 76 from 73.6 in May. The figure was above the median forecast of 75.5 among economists polled by Reuters, which was also the reading in early June.
Reports of job losses fell by half since last June, from 65 percent of respondents to 29 percent, the survey showed.
The June 2010 survey recorded the most favorable news heard by consumers about jobs in five years, Richard Curtin, director of the surveys, said in a statement.
Unfortunately consumers do not anticipate significant declines in unemployment during the year ahead.
The surveys' barometer of current economic conditions was at 85.6, its highest since January 2008, and also above the 82.9 reading in early June. This compared with 81.0 in May and economist expectations of 82.9.
The index of consumer expectations rose more modestly to 69.8 from 68.8 in May. Economists expected a reading of 70.9.
Consumer sentiment is seen as a proxy for consumer spending, which fuels around 70 percent of the U.S. economy.
(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by James Dalgleish)