Consumer confidence rebounds; a prelude to another market rally?

After a bit of a cool down, the latest consumer confidence data suggests the economy is ready to roar back to life.

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index climbed to 128.7 in April, a slight uptick from March’s 127, which put the index back near an 18-year high. In February, consumer confidence climbed to its highest level since late 2000.

A closer examination of the data shows that Americans are optimistic about the current economy, their finances and the ability of jobs. When it comes to their thoughts on current conditions, the present situation index rose to 159.6 from 158.1. They are also increasingly optimistic about the future. The future expectations index advanced to 108.1 from 106.2.

Consumer spending is an important engine that drives U.S. economic growth, and when consumers feel positive about their finances and the economy, they are more likely to spend. Consumer sentiment is estimated to drive about two-thirds of the U.S. economy.