Consumer confidence rose slightly this month as Americans reported the strongest gains in their personal financial situation in seven years, according to results of a leading private survey released Friday.
The consumer sentiment index from the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters rose to 82.5, from 81.9 in May. The increase was slightly above analysts' expectations.
The index has remained relatively consistent over the last six months even though the economy took a nose dive in the first quarter.
The Commerce Department said this week the economy contracted at a 2.9% annual rate from January through March, the worst performance since the Great Recession.
But economists attributed the dismal performance largely to extreme weather in much of the nation. Recent data have indicated a strong rebound in the second quarter.
The Conference Board, the other leading tracker of consumer sentiment, said this week that its confidence index for June jumped to its highest level since January 2008.
The readings are important because consumers account for about 70% of all economic activity.
Though the University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters index posted a more modest gain than the Conference Board's measure, it showed recent solid job growth has boosted consumers' view of their own finances.
Four in 10 respondents in the June survey said their financial situation had improved over the last year, up from 35% the previous month and the best reading since 2007.
More optimism about the housing market helped buoy consumer views of their financial situation.
For the first time in eight years, the percentage of homeowners in the survey who said home-selling conditions were favorable reached 50%.
Overall, the University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters index of consumer views of current economic conditions rose to 96.6 in June, from 94.5 the previous month.
Follow @JimPuzzanghera on TwitterCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times