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Economic Report: Consumer confidence jumps to 14-month high thanks to coronavirus vaccines and resurgent economy

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The numbers: Consumer confidence leaped again in April to a 14-month high as rising vaccinations, falling coronavirus cases and a resurgent U.S. economy eased pandemic-related anxieties, a new survey showed.

The index of consumer confidence climbed to 121.7 this month from revised 109 in March, the Conference Board said Tuesday. That’s the highest level since February 2020.

Economists polled by Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal had forecast a 113 reading for April.

Confidence still hasn’t returned to pre-pandemic levels, however. The index stood close to a 20-year high of 132.6 shortly before crisis began.

Big picture: The economy has regained momentum this year largely due to the increasing number of people being vaccinated. That’s allowed states to ease restrictions and given Americans more confidence to resume somewhat normal lives.

What also helped was another massive dose of federal stimulus last month that raised unemployment benefits and included $1,400 checks for most Americans.

If coronavirus cases keep falling, economists predict, U.S. growth will accelerate even faster through the summer months and beyond.

Market reaction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
-0.13%

and S&P 500
SPX,
-0.16%

fell in Tuesday trades, but stock indexes remain near all-time highs.

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