Americans are feeling better about the economy, according to the newest U.S. Consumer Confidence Index report from the Conference Board. The index rose almost 5% in May compared with April, reversing three months of declines.

What You Need To Know

  • Consumer confidence increased slightly in May, according to the Conference Board

  • The Consumer Confidence Index rose almost 5% in May compared with April, reversing three months of declines

  • Confidence was highest among those earning more than $100,000 and people under age 35

  • Many consumers expect inflation and interest rates to remain high

“Compared to last month, confidence improved among consumers of all age groups,” Conference Board Chief Economist Dana M. Peterson said in a statement, adding that people earning more than $100,000 and under the age of 35 saw the biggest gains in confidence.

“The strong labor market continued to bolster consumers’ overall assessment of the present situation,” Peterson said, as fewer survey respondents said jobs were hard to get this month.

The index found increases in consumers’ assessments of current labor market and business conditions as well as their expectations for the short-term.

Fewer consumers said they expected business conditions, job availability or income to deteriorate over the next six months.

Many consumers said high prices for food and groceries had the greatest impact on how they view the economy. Over the next 12 months, they expect inflation to be 5.4% — a slight increase from their expectation of 5.3% in April. More consumers expect higher interest rates in the coming year.

“The survey also revealed a possible resurgence in recession concerns,” Peterson said.

More consumers in May said they believe a recession is somewhat likely or very likely over the next 12 months. Consumers’ recession expectations were at odds with the Conference Board’s recent CEO Confidence survey, which found 35% anticipated a recession within the next 12 to 18 months.