With one exception, there's been no significant change in our latest (and final) installment of the Confidence Meter. Our respondents' confidence in the outlook for their own companies went up three-tenths of a percent, to 7.1 percent, thanks to half-point-plus increases in the business consulting, financial services and entertainment/ media/advertising industries. The jump might have been higher were it not for decreases of 0.6 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively, by respondents in the noncomputer manufacturing and retail/wholesale distribution sectors. The latter is a bit of a surprise: The economy gained nearly a quarter of a million jobs in May, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis announced personal income rose by 0.6 percent in April. Perhaps the rise in the price of gasoline to over $2 a gallon is partly to blame.
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