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American confidence in the economy is rising.

Consumer sentiment rose to 97.7 in mid-May, the University of Michigan said on Friday. Economists had been expecting a lower preliminary reading of 97, which was the score in April.

Americans are increasingly confidence about their financial futures. Forty-four percent said they expect their household’s financial situation will improve in the year ahead. That’s the highest positive score since 2004.

Republicans are far more hopeful than Democrats. Eighty-three percent of Republicans have a favorable outlook for the year ahead, while just 34 percent of Democrats say they have a favorable economic outlook.  This gap, however, has narrowed from previous readings.

The survey’s tracker of current economic conditions remained unchanged at 112.8. Plans to buy durable goods were the strongest in a decade, while plans to buy a vehicle hit a three-year low.

 

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