US consumer confidence jumps to 14-month high

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer confidence rose sharply for a second straight month, hitting the highest level since the pandemic began, as the rapid rollout of vaccines and another round of U.S. financial support for Americans boosts optimism.

The Conference Board reported Tuesday that its consumer confidence index advanced to a better-than-expected 121.7 in April, up from 109.0 in March. It was the strongest reading since the index stood at 132.6 in February 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic struck in the United States.

The present situation index, based on consumers assessment of current business and labor market conditions sored from 110.1 to 139.5. The expectations index, based consumers’ views of what conditions will be like over the next six months, posted a more moderate gain, rising from 108.3 last month to 109.8 in April.