- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 26, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) — A monthly survey says concerns about jobs and inflation eased in April, pushing the Consumer Confidence Index above expectations.

The Conference Board says the index rose to 65.4 from a revised 63.8 in March. Economists expected a smaller rise to 64.8, according to FactSet.

The increase comes after an unexpected drop in March stemming from worries about rising gas prices and other household costs. But the measure rose for five consecutive months before that and hit a three-year high in February.

The index is still far from the reading of 90, which indicates a healthy economy. It hasn’t approached that level since the recession began in December 2007.

The Conference Board says views about income and the job market improved during the month and expectations about inflation declined.

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