> SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE! 

Consumer confidence surged in May to a near-record level despite a volatile stock market and higher interest rates, according to The Conference Board, a non-profit business membership and research organization.

“With unemployment at a 30-year low and the short-term Conference Board forecast projecting favorable labor market conditions, confidence is expected to remain strong through the summer,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board’s Consumer Research Center.

The percentage of consumers calling business conditions “good” edged up to 44.7% in May, from 44.5% in April, while those rating conditions as “bad” declined to 7% in May, from 8.4% in April.

The percentage of consumers expecting improved business conditions over the next six months jumped to 18.8% in May, from 15.5% in April.

The percentage of consumers anticipating an increase in their income rose to 26.7% in May, from 24.6% in April.