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U.S. consumer confidence hits 8-month high

(Xinhua)

21:03, December 28, 2011

NEW YORK, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- A latest report from the Conference Board on Tuesday showed confidence among U.S. consumers rose to the highest level in eight months in December, suggesting American consumers were more upbeat about the economic outlook at the end of a turbulent year.

According to the New York-based organization, its Consumer Confidence Index rose to 64.5 in December from 55.2 in November.

Consumers' short-term outlook also improved in December. The proportion of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased to 16.7 percent from 13.7 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen declined to 13.4 percent from 16.1 percent.

Consumers' outlook for the job market was also more favorable. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead increased to 13.3 percent from 12.4 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs declined to 20.2 percent from 23.8 percent.

"After two months of considerable gains, the Consumer Confidence Index is now back to levels seen last spring," said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "Looking ahead, consumers are more optimistic that business conditions, employment prospects, and their financial situations will continue to get better."

"While consumers are ending the year in a somewhat more upbeat mood, it is too soon to tell if this is a rebound from earlier declines or a sustainable shift in attitudes," she added.

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