The consumer confidence index rose nearly four points to 138.4, with views about current conditions rising modestly but with a six-point surge in expectations to 115.3, according to the Conference Board’s monthly report.
Forecasts had called for a modest decline in the closely-watched reading of consumer sentiment.
“The September reading is not far from the all-time high of 144.7 reached in 2000,” said Lynn Franco, the Conference Board’s director of economic indicators. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions remains extremely favourable, bolstered by a strong economy and robust job growth.”
The bump in expectations points to economic growth of higher than three percent in the remainder of 2018, Franco said.
“These historically high confidence levels should continue to support healthy consumer spending, and should be welcome news for retailers as they begin gearing up for the holiday season,” she said.