By ANNE D'INNOCENZIO, Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — Americans' confidence in the economy held steady in April from the previous month despite rising gas prices and falling home values, says a private research group.
The Conference Board says its Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 69.2, down slightly from a revised 69.5 in March. Economists were expecting a reading of 70, according to a FactSet poll of analysts. The current level is below February's 71.6, which is the highest level it's been in a year.
Consumer confidence is widely watched because consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity. The measure is significantly below the 90 reading that indicates a healthy economy. But the current level is above the 40 it hit last October.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.