Industry News

Consumer confidence steady in April

Gas-price surge doesn't daunt populace

Despite a 30 percent surge in gas prices since the start of the year, consumer confidence has remained largely unchanged for the past three months, according to survey information from the University of Michigan. "Although higher income and employment levels have offset the impact of rising gas prices on consumer confidence, there is a considerable degree of dread about future prospects among middle- and lower-income households," Richard Curtin, the director of the University of Michigan's Surveys of Consumers, said in a statement. The underlying strength of the economy is amply demonstrated by the fact gas prices are nearly 70 cents a gallon more than a year ago, yet consumer confidence is as positive as a year ago, according to Curtin. The Index of Consumer Sentiment was 87.4 in the April 2006 survey, between the 88.9 recorded in March and the 86.7 recorded in February, and nearly identical with last April's 87.7, the survey center said. The Index of Consumer Expectations, a closel...