Consumer confidence May 2020

Mic’Kale Smith, who works as a security guard but has had to take time off to care for her son during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, wears a face mask as she shops with her son Da’Mier at the Tiger Market in Oxon Hill, Maryland, May 20, 2020.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Consumer confidence unexpectedly improved in May as the U.S. economy slowly restarts, according to data released Tuesday by the Conference Board. 

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose to 86.6 this month from 85.7 in April. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected consumer confidence of 82.3 in May. 

“Following two months of rapid decline, the free-fall in Confidence stopped in May,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, in a statement. “Short-term expectations moderately increased as the gradual re-opening of the economy helped improve consumers’ spirits.”

As of Tuesday, all 50 states had reopened their economies to some extent. New Jersey also reopened its beaches for Memorial Day weekend. 

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