Consumer Confidence at Highest Level Since September 2008

Consumer confidence increased this month to the highest level since September 2008, considered the height of the financial crisis when banks were failing and the credit crunch was the worst.

The Conference Board — a private research group in New York — said the Consumer Confidence Index climbed to 57.9, from 52.3 in March. The closely watched index details consumer sentiment about business and the job market for the next six months.

Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, making the Consumer Confidence Index important for the long-term economic outlook and the still-struggling recovery.

However, the index is far from indicating a healthy economy, which generally requires an index of at least 90. But it’s also far from the record-low of 25.3 in February 2009.