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The Conference Board said yesterday that its monthly consumer confidence index rose to 109.6 for April, higher than expected and up from a revised 107.5 in March. This is the highest level for the index in almost four years…but the Conference Board warned that continued increases in gas prices are likely to rein in consumer spending – which is responsible for two thirds of all US economic activity.

"Improving present-day conditions continue to boost consumers' spirits," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center in a statement. "Recent improvement in the labor market have been a major driver behind the rise in confidence in early 2006. Looking ahead, consumers are not as pessimistic as they were last month."
KC's View:
The Conference Board is based in New York. We're guessing that Ms. Franco lives in New York and may even take the subway to work. Which is why she's deluding herself that consumers aren’t as pessimistic as they were a month ago.