New York — Consumer confidence advanced in May for the second month in a row, says the Conference Board. This could mean an economic upturn in this year's third quarter, the board suggests.
The consumer confidence index (1969-1970 equals 100) closed at 58.3, a four-point jump over April. the buying plans index also rose about 4 points to 74 in May, up from 70.3 the previous month.
Consumers have clearly turned more confident about the future course of the economy, the May survey of 5,000 households shows. The percentage of consumers now labeling business conditions as ''bad'' has fallen to less than 48 percent, down from nearly 54 percent in April. Almost 18 percent see more jobs in the coming six months, up from less than 17 percent in April. And over 24 percent expect their incomes to rise during the next six months, up from 22 percent in April.