US consumer confidence unexpectedly improves in May

By Thomson Reuters May 28, 2024 | 9:16 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. consumer confidence unexpectedly improved in May after deteriorating for three consecutive months amid optimism about the labor market, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The Conference Board said that its consumer confidence index increased to 102.0 this month from an upwardly revised 97.5 in April. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the index slipping to 95.9 from the previously reported 97.0.

“Views of current labor market conditions improved in May, as fewer respondents said jobs were ‘hard to get,’ which outweighed a slight decline in the number who said jobs were ‘plentiful’,” said Dana Peterson, chief economist at the Conference Board. “Nonetheless, the overall confidence gauge remained within the relatively narrow range it has been hovering in for more than two years.”

Consumers’ 12-month inflation expectations rose to 5.4% from 5.3% in April.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)