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April 14, 2003- Consumer Sentiment

The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index increased sharply to 83.2 in early April from 77.6 in March. The current conditions segment rose from 90.0 in March to 94.8 in April and the expectations index rose to 75.7 from 69.6. All gains have been attributed to the military successes in Iraq and lead to the highest readings since December 2002. Consumers, however, remain concerned about jobs and the economy and half expect bad economic times to persist for the next year. A further indication that attitudes are improving was demonstrated by an increase in the latest ABCNEWS/Money magazine Consumer Confidence Index. While still well below its long-term average of –9, at –22 the index is up 4 points this week (ending April 6) and 6 points from two weeks ago, when it reached its lowest level in nine years.

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