Consumer sentiment on the rise

Boosted by home values, stock market

Headline Goes Here

ORLANDO, Fla. - Higher stock prices and rising home values boosted a measure of consumer confidence in September to its second-highest level in nearly five years.

The University of Michigan's index of consumer sentiment rose to 78.3 this month from 74.3 in August. That's just below May's reading of 79.3, which was the highest since January 2008.

Americans were also more optimistic about future jobs prospects, the survey found.  The number of consumers who expect the economy to keep growing is double the number of those who expect a decline.

The report largely echoes a survey released Tuesday by the Conference Board that also found a jump in confidence.

"Nonetheless, consumers anticipate a rocky economic road ahead," said Surveys of Consumers chief economist, Richard Curtin. "Small wage increases, rising food prices, slowly declining joblessness,higher taxes, and an overall economy that will not expand continuously but suffer some setbacks over the next several years."

The brighter outlook reflected in the survey hasn't yet translated into more spending. Adjusted for inflation, consumer spending barely grew in August, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.