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Consumer Confidence Held Steady This Month

After a slight decline in March, the widely watched consumer confidence index from the private Conference Board "was virtually unchanged in April," the research group reports.

"The index now stands at 69.2, down slightly from 69.5 in March," it says.

"Overall, consumers are more upbeat about the state of the economy, but they remain cautiously optimistic," Lynn Franco, director of the board's consumer research center, adds in its release.

Consumer confidence is a key economic indicator, of course, because consumers drive demand for goods and services. They purchase about 70 percent of what businesses produce.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.

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