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Consumer Confidence Rises Sharply

Belief among consumers in the U.S. economy is surging, a just-released survey shows. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rose in June to 101.4, a seven-point increase over May’s reading.

“Over the past two months, consumers have grown more confident about the current state of business and employment conditions,” Lynn Franco, the Conference Board’s director of economic indicators, said in a statement. “Overall, consumers are in considerably better spirits and their renewed optimism could lead to a greater willingness to spend in the near-term.”

According to the survey, consumers’ feelings about the current economic climate improved in June. More than a quarter (26.4%) of respondents described present business conditions as “good,” up from 24.7% in May. Consumers are also feeling upbeat about the short-term future of the economy. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months rose from 16% in May to 18.5% last month. Those anticipating that business conditions will worsen decreased from 11.3% to 9.8%.

Meanwhile, consumers sounded positive notes about the job market, too. Those who feel that jobs are currently “plentiful” increased from 20.6% in May to 21.4% in June, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” declined from 27.2% in May to 25.7% last month. Looking forward, 17.8% of respondents to the June survey anticipate that there will be more jobs in the months ahead. That’s a rise from 14.7% in May. The percentage of people anticipating fewer jobs in the coming months dropped to 15.1%.