Consumer Confidence Bounces Back - Twice

Consumer Confidence Bounces Back

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NEW YORK — The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index sprung up since its decline in April, indicating that consumers are gaining optimism about the future economy.

At the end of May the composite Consumer Confidence Index stands at 115.5, up from 109.9 the previous month. The Present Situation Index rose from 156.0 to 158.6, while the Expectations Index jumped from 79.1 to 86.8. These numbers are compared to a base index number of 100 set in 1985. The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference Board by NFO WorldGroup.

Specifically, surveyed consumers expecting more positive market conditions increased from 14.1 percent to 16.8 percent from April to May.

Based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households, the Consumer Confidence Survey results also suggest American families are more upbeat about their incomes, with 24.6 percent expecting them to climb, compared to 22.7 percent in the previous month.

"The rebound in consumer confidence was driven by optimism about future economic conditions," said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board's Consumer Research Center. "Latest findings report rising confidence about job prospects over the next six months, but reveal growing concern about the current job market. Nowhere, however, are there indications that consumers will curtail their spending, which points to a continued economic growth."

Consumers rating current business conditions as "good" increased from 28.2 percent in April to 30.7 percent in May. Those rating conditions as "bad" declined from 13.2 percent to 11.8 percent.

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