Advisor confidence in the stock market and the economy improved slightly in April after an overall decline for the past year, says the latest Rydex AdvisorBenchmarking survey.

   Unlike the consumer confidence index, which has mostly declined for the past year and declined sharply so far in 2008, the advisor confidence index rose in April to 90 from 87 the previous month. One year ago it stood at 116, according to the survey of 150 advisors who responded to the online survey from Rydex AdvisorBenchmarking, a research and analysis center affiliated with Rydex Investments that focuses on the registered investment advisor marketplace.

   The survey gauged advisor opinions about the current economic outlook, the outlook six months out and one year out, and the stock market outlook. Advisors seem to feel the economy has stagnated but isn't dropping into a recession and may be stabilizing, according to comments gathered in the survey.

   "The official arrival of stagflation is here and has been for awhile," says George Cheatham, president of American Financial Consultants Inc., Columbia, Ky. "The difference between now and the late 1970s is that global competition is the driving force behind both increased cost and stagnant wages.

   Elsewhere in the survey, 22% of the advisors say the adverse housing market has negatively affected their clients.