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Consumer confidence posts another large increase in May

National consumer confidence posted its second large increase in two months, according to figures released Tuesday.

The national Consumer Confidence Index was up 14 points this month, to 54.9, according to the Conference Board, the New-York based group that conducts the monthly survey. Driving this was the "Expectations Index," which is the part of the survey that measures beliefs about the future. That part was up 22 points, to 72.3.

Sentiment about the present was up a more modest 3.4 points, to 28.9.

The Conference Board survey is indexed to 1985, so a score of 100 would mean the same level of confidence as that year. The survey included 5,000 households.

Meanwhile, Florida consumer sentiment was essentially flat in May. The University of Florida's state consumer confidence index was up one point to 71 in May after a sharp increase in April.

As with the national survey, expectations about the future were up. For example, expectations of personal finances a year from now rose five points to 90, the highest since October 2007.

But the part of the survey measuring perceptions of personal finances now compared with a year ago fell four points to 40, one point above an all-time low set in December.


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