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US Consumer Confidence Rebounds from 9-Week Low: Bloomberg

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US Consumer Confidence Rebounds from 9-Week Low: Bloomberg

US consumer confidence emerged from a nine-week low, as brighter employment prospects and an improved buying climate boosted the outlook on the economy.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose from minus 31.9 to minus 29.1 in the period ending April 13. The weekly random-sample survey gauges Americans’ views of the economy, personal finances and the buying climate.

The gauge of economic expectations improved in April after falling to a four-month low, Bloomberg reported today. Sentiment improved across most income groups, as the arrival of warmer weather helped to lower home heating bills.

Underlying consumer confidence is an improved outlook on the labour market. The US economy added 192,000 jobs last month, following a revised gain of 197,000 in February, the Labor Department reported this month. The unemployment rate held steady at 6.7 percent as more workers entered the labour market.

Another report today from the Labor Department showed jobless claims rose 2,000 to 304,000 last week. The 4-week moving average fell 4,750 to 312,000, the lowest level since October 2007.

Brighter employment prospects that lead to higher wages are expected to boost consumer spending in the spring. Retail sales increased in March by the most since September 2012. Retail revenues spiked 1.1 percent, following a revised gain of 0.7 percent in February, official data showed. The stronger than forecast increase was led by a surge in automobile sales. Car and light truck sales rose at the fastest annualized rate since May 2007, according to Ward’s Automotive Group.

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