NEW YORK — Consumers appear to be much less pessimistic about the economy than they were a few months ago, according to The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index for May, issued Tuesday.
The Index for May measured 54.9, up from 40.8 in April. That included increases in both the Present Situation Index, which was up to 28.9, from 25.5 a month ago, and the Expectations Index, which was up to 72.3, vs. 51.0 in April.
"After two months of significant improvements, the Consumer Confidence Index is now at its highest level in eight months [it was 61.4 in September 2008]," 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. While confidence is still weak by historical standards, as far as consumers are concerned, the worst is now behind us."
The index was credited with lifting stocks yesterday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 2%.
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