WASHINGTON, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- U.S. consumer sentiment surged to a five-month high in December on better current economic assessments and future economic prospects, a survey showed on Monday.
The final reading of the consumer sentiment index in December rose to 82.5 from 75.1 in November, the monthly Thomson Reuters/ University of Michigan survey of consumers showed.
The consumer sentiment index was at its highest since July this year and 9.6 points above the same period of last year, which has been seriously affected by Fiscal Cliff fights in Washington D.C..
The sub-index of current economic conditions, which reflects Americans' perceptions of their financial situation and whether they consider it a good time to buy big-ticket items like houses or cars, increased to 98.6 in December from 88 last month.
The sub-index gauging consumer expectations for six months from now, which more closely projects the direction of consumer spending, climbed to 72.1 in November from 66.8 in November.
"Consumers were clearly relieved when the DC gridlock ended, " said Richard Curtin, director of the survey and economist with the University of Michigan, "Confidence has bounced back to nearly the same levels it was before the crisis in mid-2013."