Consumers expressed more confidence in May despite higher prices for food and fuel
Consumers expressed more confidence in May despite concerns about oil prices, according to Consumer Sentiment Index data released today by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan.
The index rose 2.5 points to 72.4, the highest reading since the index reached 77.5 in February. Sentiment fell following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and political upheaval in parts of Africa and the Mideast.
Consumer confidence is rising despite a 3.2 percent increase in all prices in the last 12 months. Energy prices rose 19 percent and gasoline prices increased 33 percent between April 2010 and 2011, according to Consumer Price Index data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Prices rose 0.4 percent from March to April, the BLS said, explaining that energy accounted for almost half of the increase. Food prices also rose, with notable increases for meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products and non-alcoholic beverages.