U.S. Consumer Confidence Rises in May, Current Conditions Hit 17-Year High

TOPSHOT - The sun sets over a flag at the Los Angeles National Military Cemetery two days before Memorial Day in Los Angeles, California on May 26, 2018. - Memorial Day, which originated after the US Civil War that ended in 1865, is an American holiday honoring the men and …
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Consumer confidence rose in May after a modest decline in April, according to the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index.

The monthly consumer confidence index rose to 128, up from 125.6 in April, the Conference Board said Tuesday.

Consumer views of current economic conditions increased to a 17-year high, indicating that the economy is likely growing at a faster pace in the second quarter than it did in the first three months of 2018.

Expectations for the future also increased, although less dramatically. This suggests that the economy is unlikely to gain further momentum in the second half of the year, according to Lynn Franco, the director of Economic Indicators at the Conference Board.

“Overall, confidence levels remain at historically strong levels and should continue to support solid consumer spending in the near-term,” Franco said.

Views of the labor market were mixed. The share of consumers saying that jobs are “plentiful” rose to 42.4 percent from 38.2 percent a month earlier. The share saying jobs are “hard to get” also increased, from 15.5 to 15.8 percent.

The outlook for labor was similar. The share expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased to 19.7 percent from 18.6 percent, while the share expecting fewer jobs also increased, rising to 13.9 percent from 13.2 percent.

 

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