Americans are beginning to shed their anxiety about the economy, which has dominated consumer sentiment over the past two years, and they are less pessimistic about both their local economies and job security, according to the recent results of the RBC US Consumer Outlook Index.

Driven by improving attitudes about the local economy, the RBC Consumer Outlook Index climbed to 72.7 in May 2010, up 8.1 points from its April reading of 64.6.

However, consumers remain concerned about personal finances and are deeply skeptical about investing and the national economy.

"This month's RBC Consumer Outlook Index shows that consumers' negative attitudes are moving towards neutral, but not yet into positives—they are not yet ready to say that things have gotten better, especially when it comes to the national economy," said Marc Harris, co-head of Global Research at RBC Capital Markets. "Few Americans are ready to say they are enjoying good times."

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