News > Jobs & Economy
    SAVE   |   EMAIL   |   PRINT   |   RSS  
Consumer confidence jumps
Latest survey finds far stronger sentiment than expected about state of the U.S. economy.
May 31, 2005: 10:20 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Consumers were far more confident about the economy in May, according to Tuesday's reading from a business research group that came in well above Wall Street expectations.

The Conference Board's May reading on confidence came in at 102.2, up from the revised 97.5 reading in April. Economists surveyed by had forecast the index would drop to 96.0.

"Consumers' concerns about the economy and jobs have eased," said a statement from Lynn Franco, director of he Conference Board's consumer research center. "The expectations index, while slightly below year-ago levels, continues to signal economic growth in the months ahead."

The group's survey found a mixed view of employment. The percentage of consumers who believe jobs are "hard to get" increased to 24.2 percent from 22.9 percent, but those who believe jobs are "plentiful" also rose to 22.6 percent from 20.4 percent.

The employment outlook for the future improved, as did the share of consumers anticipating business conditions to improve. There was also gains in the share of consumers anticipating their incomes to improve in the months ahead.

Confidence readings such as this one are seen as an important predictor of consumers' willingness to spend, especially on big ticket items, such as automobiles and appliances. Consumer spending accounts for about two-thirds of the nation's economic activity.

The survey is based on a sample of 5,000 U.S. households.

For more on the economy and how it affects you and the markets, click here.  Top of page


Economic Indicators
Manage alerts | What is this?