Consumer sentiment improved somewhat in September but remains in the doldrums with Americans staying pessimistic about jobs and the overall state of the economy. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose to 59.4 in September, up from 57.8 mid-month and 55.7 in August, which was the lowest reading in three years. "The 1.6 point gain in the month-end to mid-month September comparison implies a 61 reading for the last two weeks of the month," according to Econoday. "Though higher than the shock-infested month of August, this reading, which is barely above 60, is the weakest since the recession period of early 2009." Analysts surveyed by Econoday expected a reading of 57.8 with a range of estimates between 56 and 59. The sentiment index tracks how consumers feel about personal finances. Individuals are still feeling the effects of a struggling economy, as August "proved to be an unusually difficult month for the consumer," according to Econoday. Write to Kerri Panchuk.