Consumers are feeling much more optimistic about the economy than they were just two months ago, according to the Consumer Confidence Index released today by The Conference Board.
The index had been hovering near historic lows since September and in February fell to its lowest level since its 1967 inception. The index posted a slight increase in March and improved considerably in April, according to today's report.
The index now stands at 39.2, up from 26.9 in March. The Present Situation Index increased to 23.7 from 21.9 last month. The Expectations Index rose to 49.5 from 30.2 in March.
"Consumer confidence rose in April to its highest reading in 2009, driven primarily by a significant improvement in the short-term outlook," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, in a statement.
"The Present Situation Index posted a moderate gain, a sign that conditions have not deteriorated further, and may even moderately improve, in the second quarter," Franco continued. "The sharp increase in the Expectations Index suggests that consumers believe the economy is nearing a bottom. However, this index still remains well below levels associated with strong economic growth."