WASHINGTON, Feb. 27 -- U.S. consumers have become more confident in February with faster job growth and stock market rally in the past three months, according to an index released by Reuters news agency and University of Michigan on consumer sentiment Friday.
The final reading for February rose to 75.3 from 75 in January. The index marked a one-year high and a sixth consecutive month of gains.
U.S. auto sales last month climbed to the highest level since the "cash for clunkers" in August 2009.
However, the rising gasoline prices may constrain household budgets in future, as some analysts pointed out.
The fresh figure came after the biggest employment gain in almost a year last month, which pushed the unemployment rate down to 8.3 percent. Thursday's initial jobless-claims number also dropped to an almost-four-year low.