According to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, Americans’ confidence in the economy rose again in January. The overall reading for the month rose to 75.0 from 69.9 in December. It was the highest reading since February 2011 and a better-than-expected improvement. Richard Curtin, the survey’s director, said the recent gains in confidence are dependent on continued gains in employment and, as long as the job market continues to improve, real consumer spending should post a 2.1 percent gain in 2012. The component of the index measuring current economic conditions rose nearly five points and the gauge of consumer expectations was at its highest level since May 2011. More here and here.