WASHINGTON - Americans' confidence in the economy jumped in May to a five-year high, lifted by a better outlook for hiring and business conditions.
The Conference Board, a New York-based private research group, says its consumer confidence index rose in May to 76.2, the second straight increase. That's up from a reading of 69.0 in April and the highest since February 2008.
Consumers' confidence in the economy is watched closely because their spending accounts for about 70 per cent of U.S. economic activity.
Conference Board economist Lynn Franco said Americans are regaining their confidence in the economy after worrying earlier in the year about higher taxes that took effect in January and federal spending cuts that began in March.