Consumer Confidence Rebounds in May Despite Higher Gas Prices

Consumer confidence bounced back unexpectedly in May, despite higher gasoline prices that could raise shoppers' worries about inflation, a private research group said Tuesday.

Recent Consumer Confidence Reports

Index Level
2006 - Dec 110.0 + 4.7
2007 - Jan 110.2 + 0.2
2007 - Feb 111.2 + 1.0
2007 - Mar 108.2 - 3.0
2007 - Apr 106.3 - 1.9
2007 - May 108.0 + 1.7
source: Haver Analytics

The New York-based Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index rose to 108.0 in May, up from a revised 106.3 in April. Analysts had expected the reading to fall to 104.5. The May reading was the highest since March when the index was at 108.2.

"The bounce-back in confidence was due primarily to a more upbeat assessment of present-day business conditions," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, in a statement.

"Consumers' view of the job market, both present and six months from now, was little changed and did not provide a boost in confidence. The short-term outlook remains cautious and
rising gasoline prices are having a negative impact on consumers' inflation expectations."