Americans More Confident About Jobs and Finances

Reported by Steve Liesman, written by Michelle Lodge
China Retail
Eugene Hoshiko

Americans may not be staging a ticker-tape parade over their financial prospects these days, but fewer are feeling downbeat. According to a new monthly report by RBC on consumer confidence, a majority see their situation as somewhat good.

To produce its Consumer Outlook Index, the first of what will be a monthly accounting, RBC asked more than one thousand Americans 30 questions about their views on job security, the economy and purchasing power.

The survey was conducted between April 1-5. CNBC will report the RBC’s findings monthly.

Gauging Consumer Sentiment

"There's relative improvement versus absolute concern," Marc Harris, co-head of global research at RBC, told CNBC. "All the numbers are getting better, every month they get better. But people are still really worried. The other side is that 50 percent still feel awful if they're concerned about their balance sheet."

According to the report, 51 percent of Americans said their situation was better, compared with 42 percent in March; those labeling their situation as very bad declined as well: 15 percent now versus 20 percent last month.

Consumers’ decisions to make major purchases is also looking up a bit as fewer are putting off such spending.

And regarding job security, fewer Americans are less confident about their continued employment, compared with six months ago: 41 percent now versus 49 percent.