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Economy in Brief

Consumer Confidence Rose To Four Year High
by Tom Moeller April 25, 2006

The April Index of Consumer Confidence from the Conference Board added 2.0% to the prior month's upwardly revised 4.7% increase. The increase to 109.6 compared to Consensus expectations for a decline to 106.2 and the latest was the highest since May 2002. The University of Michigan's preliminary April Index of Consumer Sentiment rose 0.3% (1.7% y/y).

During the last twenty years there has been a 52% correlation between the level of consumer confidence and the y/y change in real consumer spending. The correlation rose to 66% during the last ten years.

Consumers' assessment of the present situation increased 2.2% and rose for the sixth consecutive month (19.7% y/y). The percentages of respondents who viewed jobs as plentiful (29.1%) and as hard to get (19.6) were at the respective highest and lowest since mid-2003.

The index of consumers' expectations rose another 1.8% (6.0% y/y) as expectations for employment rose but expectations for business conditions and income sagged. Expectations for stock prices rose .

Price inflation expected in twelve months rose to 5.2% from 4.8% expected in February but down sharply from the 6.8% expected last September.

The Conference Board’s survey isconducted by a mailed questionnaire to 5,000 households and about 3,500 typically respond.

Conference Board April Mar Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Consumer Confidence 109.6 107.5 12.4% 100.3 96.1 79.8
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