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U.S. consumer confidence rises to highest level since 2008

(Xinhua)

13:06, November 02, 2012

NEW YORK, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- U.S. consumer confidence rose to the highest level in more than four years thanks to recent improvements in the jobs market, according to figures from a private research group on Thursday.

The New York-based Conference Board's sentiment index increased to 72.2, the highest since February 2008, from a revised 68.4 in September.

The Present Situation Index increased to 56.2 from 48.7 while the Expectations Index rose to 82.9 from 81.5 in September.

Consumers were generally more optimistic about the short-term outlook, the report showed. Those anticipating an improvement in business conditions over the next six months increased to 21.4 percent from 17.9 percent. However, those expecting business conditions to worsen edged up to 15.1 percent from 14.5 percent.

Meanwhile, more respondents felt optimistic about the jobs market. Those stating jobs were "plentiful" increased to 10.3 percent from 8.1 percent, while those claiming jobs were "hard to get" declined to 39.4 percent from 40.7 percent.

"Consumers were considerably more positive in their assessment of current conditions, with improvements in the job market as the major driver," said Lynn Franco, director of Economic Indicators at the Conference Board.

"Consumers were modestly more upbeat about their financial situation and the short-term economic outlook, and appear to be in better spirits approaching the holiday season," she added.

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