Consumer confidence increases in April
Consumer confidence rose in April after losing ground the month before, according to the Conference Board survey conducted by the Nielsen Co. The board's index increased to 65.4 in April up from 63.8 in March. While the increase does mark an improvement, it makes up only a piece of last months' fall from a 72 index score for February. The latest data show consumer's short-term outlook improved slightly this month, easing the uncertainty seen in March. Even expectations for inflation, which spiked last month, retreated in April. "Although confidence remains weak, consumers’ assessment of current conditions gained ground for the seventh straight month, a sign that the economic recovery continues," said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board consumer research center. Even consumers' short-term outlook for the economy improved moderately in April. Those anticipating business to worsen declined to 18.8% of those surveyed from 20.8% the month before. As for the labor market outlook, the key to the recovery and specifically the housing market, fewer consumers expected to see increases in the number of jobs in the months ahead. Roughly 17.5% surveyed felt the job market would improve, down from 19.6% the month before. However, 16.7% of those surveyed expected an increase in their income, up from 15.2% the month before. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.