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