The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rose 12 points in April to 39.2 (1985=100), up from 26.9 in March., and the Expectations Index rose considerably to 49.5 from 30.2 the previous month.

“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 consumer research center at The Conference Board.

“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,” Franco advised.

The number of consumers, based on a survey of 5,000 households, who said that business conditions are bad declined to 45.7% in April, down from 51.0% in March, while those claiming that business conditions are good rose to 7.6%, up from 6.9%.

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