April 28, 2009

Consumer confidence improved in April

The Conference Board said Tuesday its monthly index of consumer confidence in the United States improved sharply in April.

April's 39.2 level was a considerable gain over March's reading of 26.9, the monthly report said.

The Consumer Confidence Index assigns the year 1985 a base value of 100. The monthly index is derived from a survey of 5,000 households taken early in the month.

Consumer Confidence rose in April to its highest reading in 2009, driven primarily by a significant improvement in the short-term outlook, said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center, in a statement.

April's Present Situation Index rose from 21.9 a month ago to 23.7. The leading Expectations Index rose from 30.2 to 49.5.

In the survey, those indicating business conditions were bad fell from 51 percent to 45.7 percent. Those indicting business conditions were good rose from 6.9 percent to to 7.6 percent.

The U.S. consumers' viewpoint on the employment situation also improved in April. The percentage of respondents indicating jobs would shrink in the coming months fell from 41.6 percent to 33.6 percent. A month ago, 7.8 percent indicated jobs would increase. In April, 8 percent indicated an increase was likely, the Conference Board said.