The index rose to 83.4 in October from 81.8 in September but remains at its lowest level in nearly eight years.
The University of Michigan's preliminary October consumer sentiment index was the first report to reflect the full effect of the Sept. 11 attacks and gauge Americans’ perspectives on the U.S. economy's health and outlook. The report also included responses taken since the start of the U.S.-led air strikes against Afghanistan on Oct. 7.
The expectations index, which tracks consumers' attitudes about the coming year, rose to 77.9 in October from 73.5 in September. The current conditions index, a gauge of Americans' views of their present financial situation, fell to 92.1 from 94.6 in September.