Consumers increasingly optimistic about U.S. economy, survey says

New RBS data shows an increase in consumers' economic confidence Americans’ opinions regarding the economy are steadily becoming more favorable as they begin to be less pessimistic about their local economies, likely leading to a decreased need for some to consolidate debt and save their finances.

The latest RBC Consumer Outlook Index released on Thursday showed an increase of 8.1 points as it hit 72.7 in May, led primarily by an increasing confidence in an economic recovery as well as an improved job market.

Overall, 31 percent of consumers felt that the economy would likely improve in the next year, more than the 26 percent who feel it will become worse but less than the 43 percent who expect it to stay the same.

"This month’s RBC Consumer Outlook Index shows that consumers’ negative attitudes are moving towards neutral, but not yet into positives – they are not yet ready to say that things have gotten better, especially when it comes to the national economy," said Marc Harris, co-head of global research at RBC Capital Markets. "Few Americans are ready to say they are enjoying good times."

Despite the improved sentiments, 49 percent of consumers still described their personal financial situation as bad compared to three months ago, up from 45 percent who said so in April.