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US Consumer Confidence Rose in May

Uptick follows three straight monthly declines.

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PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rose in May to 102.0 (1985=100) from 97.5 in April (a slight upward revision). The Present Situation Index—based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions—increased to 143.1 (1985=100) in May from 140.6 in April.

Meanwhile, the Expectations Index—based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions—rose to 74.6 (1985=100) from 68.8 last month. Despite this improvement, for the fourth consecutive month, the Expectations Index was below 80, the threshold which usually signals a recession ahead.

In addition, views of current labor market conditions improved in May, as fewer respondents said jobs were hard to get, said Dana Peterson, the board’s Chief Economist. “Looking ahead, fewer consumers expected deterioration in future business conditions, job availability and income, resulting in an increase in the Expectation Index.

“Nonetheless, the overall confidence gauge remained within the relatively narrow range it has been hovering in for more than two years.”

Peterson added: “According to May’s write-in responses, consumers cited prices, especially for food and groceries, as having the greatest impact on their view of the U.S. economy.”

Click here for more from the index.

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