The Conference Board, an industry group based in New York, said Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index rose for the third consecutive month in May, amid positive outlook for the U.S. economy. The index rose to 63.3, up from a revised 57.7 reading in April. The median of forecasts from analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters (TRI) was for a reading of 59.0 for May.
The increase was boosted by consumer optimism about the short-term future of the economy, which was significantly better in May. The percentage of Americans expecting business conditions will improve over the next six months increased to 23.5% from 19.7%, while those expecting conditions will worsen declined to 11.5% from 12.4%. Consumers were also more confident about future job prospects. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead increased to 20.4% from 17.7%, while those anticipating fewer jobs declined to 17.7% from 19.9%.
In a release, issued Tuesday, Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said that though confidence is still weak, it appears “to be gaining some traction.”