Consumer Confidence Increases in May

       

       

NEW YORK–Consumer Confidence increased in May, continuing a rise from April, according to The Conference Board, which administers the monthly survey.

The Index now stands at 76.2, up from 69.0 in April. This is the highest it’s been since February, 2008, The Conference Board said. The Present Situation Index increased to 66.7 from 61.0. The Expectations Index improved to 82.4 from 74.3 last month.

“Consumers’ assessment of current business and labor-market conditions was more positive and they were considerably more upbeat about future economic and job prospects,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “Back-to-back monthly gains suggest that consumer confidence is on the mend and may be regaining the traction it lost due to the fiscal cliff, payroll-tax hike, and sequester.”

Consumers’ appraisal of present-day conditions improved in May. Those saying business conditions are “good” increased to 18.8 percent from 17.5 percent, while those stating business conditions are “bad” decreased to 26.0 percent from 27.6 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was also more positive. Those claiming jobs are “plentiful” increased to 10.8 percent from 9.7 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” edged down to 36.1 percent from 36.9 percent.