Consumer confidence in the U.S. showed a continued improvement in the month of November, according to a report released by the Conference Board on Tuesday, with the consumer confidence index rising to its highest level in over four years.
The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index climbed to 73.7 in November from an upwardly revised 73.1 in October. Economists had expected the index to edge up to 72.8 from the 72.2 originally reported for the previous month.
With the continued increase, the consumer confidence index reached its highest level since coming in at 76.4 in February of 2008.
Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at the Conference Board, said, "Over the past few months, consumers have grown increasingly more upbeat about the current and expected state of the job market, and this turnaround in sentiment is helping to boost confidence."
The modest monthly increase by the headline index reflected an uptick in expectations, with the expectations index rising to 85.1 in November from 84.0 in October.
Consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months inched up to 22.2 percent from 21.5 percent, while those expecting conditions to worsen dipped to 14.3 percent from 15.0 percent.
The Conference Board said the outlook for the labor market was about the same as in October, with consumers expecting more jobs in the months ahead edging up to 20.3 percent from 19.7 percent, while those expecting fewer jobs remained virtually unchanged at 19.7 percent.
Meanwhile, the proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes decreased to 15.9 percent from 16.7 percent.
The report also showed that the present situation index was virtually unchanged, slipping to 56.6 in November from 56.7 in October.
Consumers saying business conditions are "good" fell to 14.4 percent from 16.5 percent, while those saying business conditions are "bad" dropped to 31.5 percent from 33.0 percent
The Conference Board said consumers' assessment of the labor market improved, as those saying jobs are "plentiful" rose to 11.2 percent from 10.4 percent, while those saying jobs are "hard to get" held steady at 38.8 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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