The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had improved in April, increased again in May and now stands at 76.2 (1985=100), up from 69 in April. The Present Situation Index increased to 66.7 from 61, and the Expectations Index improved to 82.4 from 74.3 last month.
Consumers’ appraisal of present-day conditions improved in May, with those saying business conditions are “good” increasing to 18.8 percent from 17.5 percent, and those stating business conditions are “bad” decreasing to 26 percent from 27.6 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market also was more positive. Those claiming jobs are “plentiful” increased to 10.8 percent from 9.7 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” edged down to 36.1 percent from 36.9 percent.