Consumer Confidence Rises Again, But . . .

The Conference Board's consumer confidence index rose to 109.6 (1985=100) this month, its second consecutive monthly increase and the highest index level since 110.3 in May 2002. The index was 107.5 in March.

However, the survey on which April's index is based had a cutoff date of April 18, before the latest increases in gasoline prices took effect.

Indeed, "while prices at the pump have yet to impact confidence, further increases could dampen consumers' mood," says Lynn Franco, director of the Consumer Research Center at the Conference Board, a New York-based business research group.

The index is compiled from a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households.

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