Consumer Confidence Holds Steady

Americans kept the faith in June as their confidence in the economy remained steady.

The consumer-confidence index came in at 83.5 in June, down slightly from a revised 83.6 in May, the Conference Board said. While the June reading wasn't an improvement, it was higher than economists' consensus forecast of 82, according to Briefing.com, and it was still high compared with April's reading of 81 and its 2003 low of 61.4 in March.

"Consumers have grown increasingly optimistic over the last three months," said Conference Board economist Lynn Franco in a statement. "The recent turnaround in the stock market and an easing in unemployment claims should keep consumer expectations at current levels and may signal more favorable economic times ahead."

The Conference Board's present-situation index, which measures consumers' assessment of current economic conditions, fell to 64.9 from a revised 67.3 in May. The expectations index, which gauges consumers' outlook for the next six months, jumped to 95.9 from 94.5 in May.

According to the report, more consumers expected improvements in the job market ahead. Nineteen percent of the people surveyed thought more jobs will be available in the next half-year, up from 17.9% in May, while 17.3% of them thought there would be fewer jobs, down from 17.8% in May.

The Consumer Confidence survey is based on a sampling of 5,000 U.S. households.

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