Consumer confidence in the United States increased in May to the highest level in six years. It was attributed to the rising estate values and record stock prices that bolstered household wealth. The preliminary index of consumer sentiment from the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan went up to 83.7, which is the highest since July 2007. The reading in April was 76.4. The gaugeof the economic outlook of the Conference Board for the next three to six months went up 0.6 percent in April, which was more than forecast.
The increase in confidence indicated Americans have overcome the effects of federal spending cuts and higher taxes that have threatened the nation’s jobs. Stocks rebounded after the release of the report and other indicators that the economy is set to expand later this year.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index went up 1 percent to a record 1,666.12 at the close in New York. The Dollar Index increased 0.9 percent to 84.371, which is the highest level since July 2010. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note gained 1.95 percent from 1.88 percent.
The Labor Department released a report that indicated payrolls increased in 30 states in April. Unemployment rate dropped in 40 states. These factors showed the labor market got stronger across the nation. Texas got the most increase in payrolls. It added 33,100 jobs in April. New York was in second place. Florida, New York, and South Carolina got the largest decreases in unemployment rate.
In Europe, car sales increased in the year that ended in April for the first time since September 2011. This is an indicator that the euro zone’s recession may end soon.
The data in the United States showed that the economy will continue to slow down after the reports indicated industrial production went down more than the estimate in April and first time claims for jobless benefits went up last week.