October UMich consumer sentiment rises to 60.9 (by Ruth Mantell)
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- A gauge of consumer sentiment rose to 60.9 in the final reading for October, compared with a preliminary reading of 57.5, according to Friday reports on the data from Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a slight gain to 58 with consumers somewhat cheered by stock gains. The September level was 59.4. The sentiment reading, which covers how consumers view their personal finances as well as business and buying conditions, averaged about 87 in the year before the start of the most recent recession. Economists watch sentiment data to get a feel for the direction of consumer spending. Elsewhere Friday, the government reported that consumer spending rose 0.6% in September.