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The Conference Board’s U.S. consumer confidence index rose in May for the second consecutive month, reaching its highest level since February 2008. The index now stands at a reading of 76.2 (1985=100), up from 69.0 in April.
“Consumers’ assessment of current business and labor-market conditions was more positive and they were considerably more upbeat about future economic and job prospects,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “Back-to-back monthly gains suggest that consumer confidence is on the mend and may be regaining the traction it lost due to the fiscal cliff, payroll-tax hike and sequester.”
The number of consumers anticipating more jobs in the months ahead rose to 16.8 percent in May from 14.3 percent in April, according to the index’s survey. Those expecting fewer jobs decreased to 19.7 percent from 21.8 percent.
The percentage of people saying business conditions are “good” increased to 18.8 percent in May from 17.5 percent in April. Considerably more upbeat about the short-term outlook, the percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased to 19.2 percent in May from 17.2 percent in April.