U.S. Consumer Confidence Stronger Than Expected

The people who buy manufactured consumer products, other goods and services are slightly more optimistic about the U.S. economic outlook for the next six months than they were a month ago.

The Conference Board's consumer confidence index this month moved up a percentage point to 105.7 (1985=100), the New York-based business research group reported on June 27.

"The slight bounce back in confidence this month was a result of the moderate improvement in consumers' expectations," said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board's Consumer Research Center. Its "expectations" index rose to 87.6 this month from 85.1 in May.

However, its "present situation" index fell to 132.7 this month from 134.1 in May, the second consecutive monthly decline and a signal, says Franco, that the U.S. economy is slowing going into the second half of 2006.

The consumer confidence index is a closely watched economic indicator since consumer spending accounts for about two-thirds of all U.S. economic activity.

The consumer confidence survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households.

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