Industry News

Consumer confidence holds steady

More Americans say jobs 'hard to get'

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The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index, which had improved last month, was virtually unchanged in May. The index now stands at 93.2 (1985=100), up slightly from 93 in April. The Present Situation Index is now 90.3, compared to 90.4 in April. The Expectations Index edged up to 95.2 from 94.8. "The recent upturn in the Present Situation Index is being spurred by strong employment gains in March and April," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board's Consumer Research Center. "This has made consumers more positive about short-term prospects in the months ahead. The pickup in the job market is offsetting the impact of rising gas prices and escalating tensions overseas." Consumers continue to rate current conditions as favorable. Those saying business conditions have improved rose to 22.3 percent in May, up from 21.7 percent. Those claiming conditions have worsened remained unchanged at 21.7 percent. Consumers claiming jobs are "hard to get" rose to 30.6 percent from ...