ANN ARBOR--Consumer sentiment in March reached its highest level since December 2000, according to the University of Michigan.

The final consumer sentiment index rose to 95.7 from 90.7 in February. Forecasts were for a rise to 95.1.

The University's current conditions index, which measures consumers' attitudes about their financial situation, increased to 100.4 from 96.2 in February.

The expectations index, which tracks Americans' attitudes about the 12 months ahead, rose to 92.7 from 87.2.