Consumers turned slightly more upbeat this month after taking a dimmer view of the economy in April. The better attitude was concentrated in current economic conditions, although households hold a mixed view of job prospects.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Conference Board, a private research group, said Tuesday its index of consumer confidence increased to 95.4 from a revised 94.3 in April, first reported as 95.2. The May and April indexes are far below the 101.4 reported in March.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast the latest index to be little changed at 95.0.
“Consumer confidence improved modestly in May, after declining sharply in April,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the board. “While current conditions in the second quarter appear to be improving, consumers still remain cautious about the short-term outlook.”
The present situation index, a gauge of consumers’ assessment of current economic conditions, rose to 108.1 in May from a revised 105.1 in April, originally put at 106.8. Consumer expectations for economic activity over the next six months fell to 86.9 from a revised 87.1, first reported as 87.5.
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