Consumer confidence hits highest level in more than five years

All but one income level saw gains in confidence last week. 

Households earning less than $15,000 improved to minus 53.1 from minus 64.5, the third straight week of gains. 

Those earning between $15,000 and $25,000 saw confidence rise to minus 39.4 from minus 45, the fourth week of improvement and its highest since March 2008.

Confidence fell off slightly with earners making between $25,000 and $40,000 — rising to minus 34.2 from minus 32.5.

The only income group in positive figures is that with those making more than $100,000. For that group, the index surged to 18.3 from 13.2, wrapping up its 27th straight week in the black. 

On the education front, confidence rose among all three education levels, including high-school graduates, which jumped to minus 31.6 from minus 37.9, the best performance since March 2008. 

The outlook among women improved to minus 29.9 from minus 37.3 — the highest level since January 2008. 

Three of four regions saw improvement last week, with only the South experiencing a drop. 

Confidence was even up among all employment groups — full-time, part-time and unemployed.  

The index is made up of telephone surveys with a random sample of 1,000 consumers ages 18 and older. Each week, 250 respondents are asked for their views on the U.S. economy, personal finances and buying climate. 

The comfort index can range from 100, indicating every participant in the survey had a positive response to all three components, to minus 100, signaling all views were negative.