NEW YORK (Reuters) - Consumer sentiment rebounded in early May to the highest level in nearly six years as Americans felt better about their financial and economic prospects, particularly among upper-income households, a survey released on Friday showed.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment rose to 83.7 from 76.4 in April, topping economists' expectations for 78.

It was the highest level since July 2007.

The barometer of current economic conditions jumped to 97.5 from 89.9, the highest since October 2007, while the gauge of consumer expectations gained to 74.8 from 67.8.

More consumers gave a favorable view of their personal finances than in anytime since 2007, with the largest gains among households in the upper third of income levels. More respondents also thought the economy would continue to improve in the year ahead.

Shopping plans were similarly encouraging, with the gauge of buying attitudes for durable goods rising to 148 from 137.

The survey's one-year inflation expectation was unchanged at 3.1 percent, while the survey's five-to-10-year inflation outlook edged down to 2.8 percent from 2.9 percent.

(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Source