Consumer Confidence for the month of October surged to the highest level since December 2000.  While economists were expecting the headline index to show a slight increase to 121.0 from last month’s level of 120.6, the actual reading rose to 125.9, taking out the 124.9 high from March.  This month’s print was also the best reading relative to expectations since March.

Consumers aren’t as optimistic about the future as they are about the present, however.  When it comes to the present, consumers haven’t been this optimistic since July 2001.  When it comes to the future, though, confidence levels still have yet to take out the recent highs from last March.  As shown in the chart below, the divergence between sentiment towards the present and future tends to get wider the later you get into the economic cycle, so this kind of trend is closer to late-cycle than early cycle behavior.

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