updated - July 16, 2019 Tuesday EDT
US consumer confidence rose in May to the highest level in almost six years as a rising stock market and property values helped lift Americans' outlook on the economy.
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had improved in April, increased again in May. The Index now stands at 76.2 (1985=100), up from 69.0 in April. The Present Situation Index increased to 66.7 from 61.0. The Expectations Index improved to 82.4 from 74.3 last month.
While upper income households continued to set the pace, confidence also began to improve among middle and lower income households in the latter part of the month. Wealthier households are more likely to be invested in equities and reap the benefits of this year's sharp stock market rally.
Consumer spending dropped a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in April, the first decline since last May, Commerce said. That follows a 0.1% increase in March and a 0.8% jump in February.
Consumer spending drives 70% of economic activity. The fastest growth in spending in more than two years helped the economy expand at a 2.4% annual rate in the first quarter, much faster than the 0.4% rate from October through December.
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