U.S. consumer sentiment rose in July to the highest level in six years as Americans felt better about the current economic climate, although they expected to see a slower rate of growth in the year ahead, according to a survey released today,Reuters reported.

 

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment climbed to 85.1 from 84.1 in June, topping expectations for a reading of 84.

 

It was the highest level since July 2007 and was also an improvement from July's initial reading of 83.9.

 

"This high level of confidence points toward a continued expansion of consumer spending in the year ahead," survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement.

 

Still, there were a number of crosscurrents among consumers' attitudes amid expectations interest rates will rise. Future prospects for the economy were judged slightly less favorably, while lower-income households were more optimistic than higher-income earners.

 

The survey's barometer of current economic conditions also hit the highest level in six years on a final reading basis, jumping to 98.6 from 93.8. But the gauge of consumer expectations was less robust, slipping to 76.5 from 77.8. Read more.