Industry News

Consumer confidence approaches 4-year high

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The Conference Board today reported that its Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in March, improved further in April. The Index now stands at 109.6, up from 107.5 in March. This is the highest level since May 2002, when the index was 110.3. The present situation index rose to 136.2 from 133.3. The expectations index improved to 91.9 from 90.3 last month. "Improving present-day conditions continue to boost consumers' spirits," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "Recent improvements in the labor market have been a major driver behind the rise in confidence in early 2006. Looking ahead, consumers are not as pessimistic as they were last month. However, expectations for the economy and labor market have been trending downward since peaking in 2003. And, while prices at the pump have yet to impact confidence, further increases could dampen consumers' mood." Consumers' overall assessment of current conditions remains favorable. Those c...