US consumer confidence improves

New York, May 1 (IANS) US consumer confidence increased in April after an unexpected drop in March, said a report by the research institute Conference Board.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index reached 68.1 in April, higher than the revised figure of 61.9 in March, reported Xinhua.

The report showed that the present situation index increased to 60.4 from 59.2, while the expectations index, which is a gauge of consumers’ expectation for business conditions over the next six months, improved to 73.3 from 63.7 last month.

“Consumer Confidence improved in April, as consumers’ expectations about the short-term economic outlook and their income prospects improved,” said Lynn Franco, director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board.

However, he also said that consumers’ confidence has been challenged several times over the past few months by such events as the fiscal cliff, the payroll tax hike and the “sequester”. Thus, while expectations appear to have bounced back, it is too soon to tell if confidence is actually on the mend.

Moreover, consumers’ assessment of the labour market was mixed.

The monthly consumer confidence survey is conducted for the Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analysis, and it surveys 3,000 households across the country each month.

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