Confidence among U.S. consumers increased in April to the highest level since September 2008 as Americans became more upbeat about the labor market.
The Conference Board’s confidence index rose more than forecast, to 57.9 from 52.3 in March, according to the New York- based private research group. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected a rise to 53.5. A measure of expectations was the highest since 2007.
Pessimism is starting to abate after employers added workers to payrolls in three of the last five months. More job growth will be needed to spark bigger gains in confidence, incomes and spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy.
“Consumers are feeling better about the labor market,” said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts, who forecast the index to rise to 57. “If they are to spend more, they need to have jobs.”