A closely watched index of U.S. consumer sentiment narrowly beat economists' expectations Friday, reflecting growing optimism about the economy's resurgence.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment rose to 75.3 during February from 75 in January. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had, on average, forecasted a reading of 73, with estimates ranging from 71 to 76.
The index of future expectations, another component of the Reuters/Michigan survey, was up even more sharply than the consumer sentiment data, climbing to 70.3 from 69.1 last month.
Not all data on the survey was unabashedly positive. The 12-month inflation forecast set consumer price inflation at 3.3 percent, a level that is considerably higher than the U.S. central bank's stated target of two percent.
That somewhat higher-than-expected level of inflation helped bring down the headline current conditions index, which slipped to 83 from 84.2 the previous month.
The consumer sentiment data, considered market-moving, had little effect on U.S. equities trading. The benchmark S&P 500 Index of U.S. stocks was up 0.15 percent to 1,365.53 in morning trading, mostly unchanged from the levels it was trading at before the data was released.