Consumer confidence tracked in April in the nine regions of America, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, ranked from most optimistic to least.

According to the Conference Board, consumer confidence levels peaked in 2000 and have been eroding gradually ever since. Unemployment hovers around 6.5 percent, compared with 2000, when it was only 3.9 percent. But all is not bleak. Optimism rebounded in April because of postwar euphoria and there have been signals that business and labor conditions are improving. In April, 42.2 percent of those surveyed said in the next six months, they plan to take a vacation and 28.5 percent indicated they will buy a major appliance, a sign that purse strings may be loosening.

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