Consumer Confidence Levels Rise Again

June 26, 2001

Consumer Confidence Levels Rise Again

Americans are increasingly optimistic about an economic recovery later this year, according to the Conference Board, a leading barometer of U.S. consumer confidence. The Conference Board's indicators rose for the second straight month, showing consumers look forward to a stronger economy. Federal Reserve officials have repeatedly said keeping consumers spending is key to preventing the current economic slump from deepening.

But retailers shouldn't expect too much right away. "There is little reason to believe that consumers will drastically halt their spending habits, and also little reason to expect consumers to go on shopping binges," says Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board's Consumer Research Center. "The economy should continue to expand at its current slow rate."

Much of the expected spending is linked to brighter employment prospects. "Consumers are currently more optimistic than they have been all year regarding business and job prospects over the next six months," says Franco.

- by Michael Thompson