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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Consumer Confidence Rises in Early May

In a sign of psychological economic recovery, U.S. consumer confidence rose in early May to its highest level since September, when Lehman Brothers collapsed, sinking consumer sentiment.

The periodic Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers said its preliminary index of confidence for May rose to 67.9 from 65.1 in April, beating economists' expectations.

The consumer expectations index -- a measure of what consumers think about the future of the economy -- jumped to 69.0 in early May, its highest since October 2007, when the stock market hit its all-time high.

"Consumer confidence rose in early May as consumers became increasingly convinced that the economy is in its final stages of contraction, and paradoxically, that their personal finances would remain dismal and keep their spending at reduced levels for the foreseeable future," the survey's authors said in a statement.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  May 15, 2009; 11:08 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: consumer confidence  
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