U.S. Consumer Confidence on the Rise; Case-Shiller 20-City Index Still Steady
April 28, 2010 - Reaching its highest level since September 2008, U.S. consumer confidence rose to 57.9 in April. The index has been recovering steadily since hitting an all-time low of 25.3 in February 2009.
The index, which measures how consumers feel about several facets of the economy, has seen a sound improvement over the last few months, though it is still nowhere near solid. (Generally a reading above 90 indicates that the economy is stable, while a reading above 100 signifies strong growth)
Consumer spending accounts for nearly 70% of all economic activity in the U.S., making the index a heavily watched report by economists.
Among the consumer confidence release, Standard and Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city index was reported to have dipped slightly in February. Though the index has risen 0.6% from a year earlier, eleven of the twenty cities' home prices declined from last year.
In six of the featured cities - Tampa, Portland, Seattle, New York, Charlotte and Las Vegas - home prices dropped to their lowest point in the last few years. Overall, the pace of decline is much less severe than a year ago.