US consumer confidence rebounded in April amid
an increase in expectations about the short-term economic outlook and
prospects for the labor market, the New York-based Conference Board
The index rose to 68.1 in April, up from a revised 61.9 in March, when the data fell sharply as Americans turned pessimistic about the country's short-term economic outlook. The index had stood at a revised 68 in February.
Lynn Franco, the group's director of economic indicators, pointed to the improved short-term outlook as well as confidence about better income prospects as contributing to the rise, but said it was too soon to tell whether the data represented a trend.
"However, consumers' confidence has been challenged several times over the past few months by such events as the fiscal cliff, the payroll tax hike and the sequester," she said. "Thus, while expectations appear to have bounced back, it is too soon to tell if confidence is actually on the mend."
The Conference Board noted a moderate improvement in how consumers viewed the current economic environment as well as a jump in expectations for improvement in business conditions over the next six months.
The figures are based on a monthly survey of consumers conducted by the pollster Nielsen.
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