Gallup: Consumer confidence remains on the upswing

Gallup chalked up the boost in confidence to, among other things, more optimism about the job market, with the Labor Department set to release March unemployment figures on Friday.

The polling company also said that positive reports on manufacturing and the Federal Reserve’s current position on the economy could also give the confidence index a lift.

Still, the two-point growth in confidence is smaller than in previous months, and comes as gas prices continue to rise. Dennis Jacobe, Gallup’s chief economist, wrote last week that the improvements in the economy were at least partially offsetting the “drag of gas prices.”

This time around, Jacobe said “a key question is whether the U.S. economy can continue its modest economic recovery as gas prices approach the key psychological level of $4 a gallon and the July 2008 record price of $4.11.”

Gallup also found that Americans were more optimistic about the economy’s future than pleased about current conditions.

Democrats were also much more likely to be confident than independents or Republicans, while those making more than $90,000 a year also had more positive thoughts about the economy than lower earners.