NEW YORK, April 30 (UPI) -- U.S. consumer confidence rose unexpectedly in April after falling in March, the Conference Board said Tuesday.
Economists had forecast the index would fall from 61.9 to 60. Instead, it rose to 68.1, the Conference Board said.
The index has been trending lower. April's gain was only the second time in the past six months the index has climbed.
The index is a comparison from 1985, which was assigned the value of 100.
In April, 17.2 percent of respondents to a survey that involves more than 5,000 households indicated they believed business conditions were "good," up from 16.4 percent in March.
Responses indicating a belief that business conditions were "bad" fell from 29.1 to 28.1 in the month.
The percentage of respondents indicating jobs were "plentiful," rose from 9.5 percent to 9.8 percent, while those indicating jobs were difficult to get rose from 35.4 percent to 37.1.
"Consumers' confidence has 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," said Conference Board Director of Economic Indicators Lynn Franco in a statement.