The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index had its third consecutive monthly gain in May 2010. The Index stands at 63.3 (1985=100), up from 57.7 in April.
The Conference Board's Present Situation Index increased to 30.2 from 28.2.
Its Expectations Index improved to 85.3 from 77.4 last month.
The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5000 U.S. households.
Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said consumer confidence was still weak by historical levels but "appears to be gaining some traction," she said. "Consumers’ apprehension about current business conditions and the job market continues to slowly dissipate. Consumers’ expectations, on the other hand, have increased sharply over the past three months, propelling the Expectations Index to pre-recession levels (August 2007, 89.2). The improvement has been fueled primarily by growing optimism about business and labor market conditions. Income expectations, however, remain downbeat."
Consumers’ optimism about the short-term future was much better in May. Those consumers expecting business conditions to improve in the next six months increased from 19.7% to 23.5%. Those expecting conditions will worsen declined from 12.4% to 11.5%.
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