Consumer confidence reaches a post-recession high

“Consumers now believe the recovery has achieved an upward momentum that will not be easily reversed. To be sure, few consumers expect the economy to post robust gains or think the unemployment rate will drastically shrink during the year ahead,” Michigan chief survey economist Richard Curtin.

The survey concludes that rising stock and home values is driving sentiment upward even as unemployment remains stubbornly high at 7.6 percent.

“In contrast to the healthy gains in stocks and home values enjoyed by upper income households, lower income households were more likely to report income declines and no increases in their household wealth,” the survey says. 

The Michigan results closely track a Conference Board consumer survey out this week.

Consumer confidence in that survey climbed in June to its highest level since the start of the Great Recession in January 2008, the Conference Board reported Tuesday.

The Conference Board index rose to 81.4, up from 74.3 in May. A score of 100 on the scale represents the threshold of bearish to bullish sentiment. In January 2008, the index was at 87.3.

The continued confidence comes despite jitters on Wall Street over the eventual end of Federal Reserve monetary stimulus and mounting effects from budget sequestration that are starting to hit federal employees and contractors.