A private research group said Tuesday that consumer confidence soared in April amid hopeful signs that the economy is starting to stabilize.
The Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index rose 12 points to 39.2, up from a revised 26.9 in March. The reading marks the highest point since November and well surpasses economists' expectations for a level of 29.5.
The Expectations Index, which measures how shoppers feel about the economy over the next six months, skyrocketed to 49.5 from 30.2 in March.
Earlier Tuesday, a housing index showed that home prices dropped sharply in February, but for the first time in 25 months the decline was not a record -- another sign the housing crisis could be bottoming.