Consumer confidence index rises

April 10, 2012 at 11:33 AM
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RAMSEY, N.J., April 10 (UPI) -- A monthly index of consumer optimism showed U.S. consumers slightly more confident in April compared to March.

The Economic Optimism Index, released by the Investor's Business Daily TechnoMetrica Institute of Policy and Politics, showed consumer sentiment about economic conditions had risen by 1.8 points or 3.8 percent in April to 49.3, up from 47.5 in March.

The national survey included 906 interviews taken March 30 to April 5. The results carry a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.

The Economic Optimism Index includes three components, the Six-Month Economic Outlook, the Personal Financial Outlook and the Confidence in Federal Economic Policies Index. All three improved in April, IBD/TIPP reported

The Six-Month Economic Outlook Index rose 3.3 points, or 6.8 percent, to 52.1.

The Personal Financial Outlook Index increased 0.6 points, or 1.1 percent, to 54.8.

The Confidence in Federal Economic Policies Index gained 1.6 points, or 4.1 percent, to reach 41.0.

"April's weaker-than-expected jobs data confirm that the economic recovery's strength is flagging. If gasoline prices remain high, the notion that the economy is firmly expanding may be tested by new data in coming weeks," said Terry Jones, associate editor of Investor's Business Daily.

It was one of those months where rising confidence was hard to explain. "Consumer confidence improved despite concerns about gasoline prices and persisting high unemployment," said Raghavan Mayur, president of TIPP, a unit of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, IBD's polling partner.

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