Consumer confidence rises to highest level since January 2008

The Conference Board index rose to 81.4, up from 74.3 in May. A score of 100 on the scale represents the threshold of bearish to bullish sentiment.  In January 2008, the index was at 87.3.

The increase was the third straight for the index and indicates that the recovery is not suffering greatly, at least yet, from budget cuts imposed through the arbitrary sequestration process.  

With the fiscal cliff of tax increases going into effect this January, the index stood at a lowly 58.4.

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“Consumers are considerably more positive about current business and labor market conditions than they were at the beginning of the year,” said Jamie Lynn Franco of the Conference Board. “Expectations have also improved considerably over the past several months, suggesting that the pace of growth is unlikely to slow in the short-term and may even moderately pick up.”

The June 13 survey was conducted before last week’s Federal Reserve comments on monetary easing sent equity and bond markets into a broad sell-off, however.