The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of sentiment increased to 84.1 from a four-month low of 80 in March. The median projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for 83 after a preliminary April reading of 82.6.
More favorable views of current conditions and the outlook show consumers are taking higher prices at grocery stores and gas stations in stride, indicating gains in household purchases will be sustained.
The 17% surge in U.S. auto sales last month pushed the annual rate to a pre-recession, boom-time level. Even more significant, Detroit automakers are reaping profits not seen since the turn of the century.
Federal Reserve policy makers said they could change the size of the central bank’s monthly asset purchases to reduce the risks associated with the program, such as disrupting financial markets and spurring inflation.