U.S. consumer confidence rises in May

Consumer confidence increased in May as consumers were more optimistic regarding labor market conditions, according to The Conference Board.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index rose to 83 in May from 81.7 in April. A reading of 90 or higher indicates a healthy economy.

The index measures how shoppers feel about business conditions, the job market and the next six months. Economists watch the index closely because consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity and is a crucial part of a strong rebound.

Those expecting business conditions to improve during the next six months increased to 17.5 percent from 17.2 percent, and those expecting business conditions to worsen decreased to 10.2 percent from 10.5 percent.

Additionally, 15.4 percent expect more jobs during the next six months compared with 14.7 percent in April. Those expecting fewer jobs increased from 18 percent to 18.3 percent.

"Consumer confidence improved slightly in May as consumers assessed current conditions, in particular the labor market, more favorably," says Lynn Franco, The Conference Board's director of economic indicators. "Expectations regarding the short-term outlook for the economy, jobs and personal finances also were more upbeat. In fact, the percentage of consumers expecting their incomes to grow over the next six months is the highest since December 2007. Thus, despite last month's decline, consumers' confidence appears to be growing."

Date : 6/6/2014