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May Results.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index, which was flat in April, rebounded sharply in May. The Index now stands at 144.4 (1985=100), up from 137.7 in April. The gain was attributable to a rise in both components of the Index. The Present Situation Index rose to 183.1 from 179.8 in April. The Expectations Index reached 118.7 in May, up from 109.7 in April.

The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference Board by NFO Research, Inc., an NFO Worldwide Company and member of The Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE:IPG).

In May, consumers' assessment of current conditions was more upbeat than in the prior survey. The percentage of respondents that felt business conditions were "good" edged up to 44.7 percent from 44.5 percent in April, while those rating conditions as "bad" declined to 7.0 percent from 8.4 percent. Consumers claiming jobs were "hard to get" dropped to 11.4 percent from 12.1 percent.

Consumers' short-term outlook in May was significantly more optimistic than in April. The percentage of respondents anticipating an improvement in business conditions over the next six months jumped to 18.8 percent from 15.5 percent in the previous survey. The proportion expecting conditions to worsen declined to 4.8 percent from 5.3 percent. The job outlook was also more favorable.

The percentage of consumers expecting more jobs to become available in the coming months rose to 19.7 percent from 16.5 percent in April. Those expecting fewer jobs to become available declined to 10.2 percent from 11.7 percent Income prospects were also more optimistic than in the prior survey. Now, 26.7 percent of respondents anticipate an increase in their income, up from 24.6 percent in April.

With unemployment at a 30-year low, and the short-term Conference Board forecast projecting favorable labor market conditions, the fluctuations of the financial markets and interest rate hikes are not expected to have a significant impact on consumers' spirits. Confidence should remain at historically strong levels throughout the coming summer months.
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Author:Franco, Lynn
Publication:Consumer Confidence Survey
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2000
Words:364
Previous Article:April Results.
Next Article:June Results.
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