Although the April 2011 unemployment rate rose to 9.0 percent, approximately 244,000 new private-sector jobs were created during the month. This increase in jobs appears to be having a positive affect on consumer confidence. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary consumer sentiment index results are in and the news is good.
Economists and others in the industry predicted that the preliminary confidence reading would be 70, up just a bit from the final April reading of 69.8. Too the surprise of many, the preliminary reading actually came in at 72.4, which is a three-month high.
Over the past several weeks, gas prices were steadily rising. This has normalized but it has only been about a week since the daily increases stopped. The increased gas prices are also leading to an increase in the price of goods and services.
It costs more to drive to the grocery store now than it did a year ago and once you get there the food is more expensive. Despite this fact, consumer confidence rose and topped even the experts’ prediction. This is definitely a bit of good news. Final consumer confidence figures for May will be released later this month.
National consumer confidence is on the rise but how about your personal level of consumer confidence?