Nightly News   |  May 28, 2013

Consumer confidence hits 5-year high

New positive signs that the economy is improving include rising home prices and a jump in consumer confidence from last month’s 69 to 76.2 in May. NBC’s John Yang reports.

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>>> economic news on several fronts tonight. broad enough to affect millions of families across this country and it happens to be good news, word of a huge spike in housing prices and consumer confidence . and auto sales so robust the car companies have canceled or scaled back their usual summer breaks. the big question now, is this comeback for real? we get our report tonight from nbc's john yang in chicago.

>> reporter: for the third straight month, there are positive signs in the housing markets, in april, home prices took their biggest jump in seven years. today's s&p case shiller increase of desk found the biggest hit hardest by the real estate bubble , up more than 20% in phoenix, san francisco and las vegas . atlanta up more than 19%, but housing is far from fully recovered.

>> we are still well below the prices of the peak of the housing market , in some cases 20%, even 30% below where home prices were in 2006 .

>> i think most americans now have a more sober view of housing. it's a place to live and it isn't the get rich quick scheme.

>> still today the conference board said consumer confidence jumped this month from 69 to more than 76, a five-year high. the research group survey found americans more optimistic about the job market and the overall economy

>> our overall finances are looking good so we're feeling very optimistic.

>> i'm not really concerned as much as i was a few years back.

>> another day, another record for the dow.

>> reporter: all this put wall street in a buying mood. after a long holiday weekend the dow closed up a little more than 106.

>> what we're trying to get to you is number one the --

>> reporter: buyers are flocking to car dealerships like this one outside of los angeles .

>> we're comfortable in our house and now is the time to think about adding on another monthly payment.

>> reporter: in april car sales jumped 8.5% from the year before. analysts say many delayed replacing old cars because of the uncertainty about the economy.

>> the ability to buy the cars because interest rates are low and credit rates ability.

>> reporter: detroit's big three are keeping one demand. car sales are projected to hit 15 million this year and detroit is getting a bigger and bigger share of that, now selling more cars in america than asian manufacturers. brian?

>> john yang with the state of the economy from chicago tonight john, thanks.