Catching up ...
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The preliminary Reuters / University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for December was at 82.5, up from the November reading of 75.1.
This was well above the consensus forecast of 75.5. Sentiment has generally been improving following the recession - with plenty of ups and downs - and one big spike down when Congress threatened to "not pay the bills" in 2011. The decline in October and early November was probably also due to the government shutdown and another threat to "not pay the bills".
As usual sentiment rebounds fairly quickly following event driven declines, and I expect to see sentiment at post-recession highs very soon.