May 26, 2009

Consumer confidence rises for two months

The Conference Board said Tuesday its monthly index of consumer confidence in the United States rose for the second straight month in May.

The monthly index compiled from a survey of 5,000 households taken early in the month, showed confidence rising from 40.8 to 54.9. The Present Situation Index rose from 25.5 to 28.9, while the Expectations Index soared from 51 to 72.3, the report said.

After two months of significant improvements, the Consumer Confidence Index is now at its highest level in eight months, said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center.

Looking ahead, consumers are considerably less pessimistic than they were earlier this year, and expectations are that business conditions, the labor market and incomes will improve in the coming months.

As (far as) consumers are concerned, the worst is now behind us, Franco said.

In the survey, those indicating business conditions were bad increased from 44.9 percent to 45.3 percent, but those indicating business conditions were good rose slightly from 7.9 percent to 8.7 percent.

Those indicating jobs are hard to get fell from 46.6 percent 44.7 percent, while those indicating jobs were plentiful rose from 4.9 percent to 5.7 percent, the report said.