United States: Consumer confidence rises to five month high
April 30, 2013
In April, the Conference Board consumer confidence index rose to 68.1 points from the revised 61.9 points seen in March (previously reported: 59.7 points). The reading represents the highest level in five months and surprised the market on the upside, as analysts expected the index to rise only to 62.0 points.
The monthly print was mainly driven by a sharp rise in consumers' expectations regarding their personal finances over the next 12 months. Surveyed households also expressed a more positive outlook regarding their current financial situation. In addition, respondents' assessment of future job market improved, with more people seeing more jobs six months from now.
According to the Conference Board, results from April point to an improvement of consumers' assessment of the economy, despite having "been challenged several times over the past few months by such events as the fiscal cliff, the payroll tax hike and the sequester. Thus, while expectations appear to have bounced back, it is too soon to tell if confidence is actually on the mend".