A shopper walks with bags of purchases. Pedestrian and vehicular traffic have noticeably increased as businesses mark the next phase of reopening the economy today in New York City.

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Consumer confidence rose more than expected in June as the U.S. loosened stay-at-home and quarantine restrictions, raising hope for an economic recovery, according to data released Tuesday.

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose to 98.1 for the month. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected consumer confidence to rise to 91 from a May reading of 85.9.

“The re-opening of the economy and relative improvement in unemployment claims helped improve consumers’ assessment of current conditions,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. Franco noted, however, “the Present Situation Index suggests that economic conditions remain weak. Looking ahead, consumers are less pessimistic about the short-term outlook, but do not foresee a significant pickup in economic activity.”

“Faced with an uncertain and uneven path to recovery, and a potential COVID-19 resurgence, it’s too soon to say that consumers have turned the corner and are ready to begin spending at pre-pandemic levels,” said Franco.

The Board’s present situation index rose to 86.2 from 68.4 while the short-term outlook among consumers also improved. 

States across the country have ramped up efforts to reopen the U.S. economy by easing social distancing measures aimed at curbing the coronavirus pandemic. This not only increased confidence among consumers, but sent stock prices flying. However, some states have had to roll back reopening efforts as coronavirus cases increased once again. 

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