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US consumer sentiment brightens in March
Friday - 3/29/2013, 1:20pm EDT
AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - A survey shows Americans' view of the economy improved at the end of the month, as lower unemployment and healthy job gains are making tax increases less of a burden.
The University of Michigan final consumer sentiment index rose to 78.6 in March. That's up from a preliminary reading of 71.8 and February's 77.8 reading. A year ago, the index stood at 76.2
Cooper Howes, an economist at Barclays, said the increase suggests consumers are not deterred by higher Social Security taxes, which have lowered take-home pay for most Americans. Helping offset the tax increase is a better job market. Employers have added an average of more than 200,000 jobs a month since November.
A separate report Friday showed consumers increased spending in February after their income jumped.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)