(AP) – U.S. consumer confidence fell sharply in May and is at the lowest level since January, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Conference Board.
The findings contradicted Friday’s survey by Thompson Reuters/University of Michigan, which showed consumer sentiment at its highest level in four and a half years.
Neither is wrong, economists said. They were taken at different times during the month and were affected by a range of changes in the economy, including slower job growth, lower gas prices and volatility in the stock market.
Economists say the two indexes usually track each other over time, though occasionally they diverge.
Brian Bethune, an economist at University of Amherst, said the two indexes will likely converge in the coming months.
“The truth probably lies somewhere in between,” he said.
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