The bull trend among US consumers continues to fuel the nation’s economic recovery, according to new data from the University of Michigan.

The University’s Index of Consumer Sentiment rose from 93 at the end of April to 96 in early May. And suggesting that the optimism is set to continue, the Index of Consumers Expectations grew to 91.3 from 89.1 in April. Another index measuring current conditions rose to 103.2 from 99.2 a month earlier.

Although America’s massive trade deficit narrowed slightly in March – down to $31.63 billion from a revised $31.75 billion in February – the Commerce Department sees this as a neutral result, despite its implication of a slowdown in purchasing from overseas sources.

Imports rose infinitesimally by 0.3% in March compared with leaps of over 3% both in January and February; while exports enjoyed their fourth successive monthly rise, up 0.6% in March.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff