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A Good Week for the Economy

looking upThe economy appears to be picking up more momentum, as consumer sentiment saw a marked gain amid a week of data releases that underscore renewed economic growth.

Today, the University of Michigan released its survey that showed the overall consumer sentiment index at 96.1, up from 90.7 in May. Bob Hughes, senior research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research, called it “a nice rebound. It’s a good sign for consumers.”

The survey showed notable improvements in current conditions, as well as consumer expectations. The latter is an indicator in The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index, making it a credible barometer of future economic activity.

“It’s more evidence we’re getting out of that first quarter slump,” Hughes said. That evidence also includes solid gains in personal income and consumer spending.

That’s on top of Tuesday’s news from the Commerce Department, which reported that non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft rose 0.4 percent in May. “That’s a positive indication of business investment spending,” Hughes said.

Overall, new orders fell 1.8 percent, but that number includes the volatile aircraft industry. Non-defense aircraft fell 35 percent during the month, which Hughes said doesn’t speak to the health of the economy as a whole.

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