The University of Michigan said the preliminary reading of its U.S. consumer sentiment index in September was 78.9, up from 74.1 in the prior month.
Economists polled by MarketWatch expected a reading of 75.9.
The sentiment indicator covers how consumers view their personal finances as well as business and buying conditions.
What are they saying? The index hit its “best level since March,” but “longer-run inflation expectations ticked down to 2.6% while near-term inflation expectations slipped to 2.7%, the lowest since April,” said Neil Dutta, head of economics at Renaissance Macro Research, in a note.