U.S. Consumer Confidence Steadies In June

By Agence France-Presse Confidence among U.S. consumers -- critical because of its impact on spending -- held almost steady in June, a survey by the Conference Board showed June 24. People grew more optimistic about the future, however, it said. The New York-based private research group's consumer confidence index barely changed, easing to 83.5 points in June from 83.6 in May. The barometer is made up of two key components: the expectations index, which rose to 95.9 points from 94.5, and the present situation index, which fell to 64.9 from 67.3. "While consumers' assessment of current conditions has lost ground since April, expectations for the next six months are up," said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board's Consumer Research Center. "In fact, consumers have grown increasingly optimistic over the last three months." "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," Franco said. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2003

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