Sentiment of U.S. households in the top fifth of the income distribution improved in early 2010 compared with 2009, but worries over personal finances persist, a survey showed on Friday.
Sentiment rose to 82.8 for 2010 compared with 71.5 for 2009, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's Surveys of Consumers. The survey assessed upper-income households.
Some 36 percent reported an improved financial situation in early 2010, up from 27 percent last year; however, 38 percent reported a worsening financial situation, down from 51 percent in 2009.
While the evidence indicates that the financial situation of upper-income households improved considerably more than the finances of lower-income households, even among those in the top fifth of the income distribution, those initial gains have not completely ended the overall financial decline, said Richard Curtin, director of the surveys.
Last week, a separate Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey found that U.S. consumer sentiment was weaker in February compared with January, as Americans grew more impatient with the government's gridlock over efforts to stimulate jobs.
(Editing by James Dalgleish)