Consumer sentiment has hit its highest level in a year-and-a-half. The University of Michigan's final May consumer sentiment index rose to 96.9 from 93.0 in April, slightly above the preliminary May reading of 96.0 released two weeks ago. Forecasts were for the index to hold at 96.0.

The final current conditions index, which tracks consumers' views about their present financial situation, rose to 103.5 in May from 99.2 in April, also up from a preliminary reading of 103.2.

The expectations index, which measures attitudes about the 12 months ahead, rose to 92.7 in May from 89.1 in April. The preliminary reading was 91.3.