Consumer Confidence Reaches Best Level Since August

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While recent economic reports suggest the recovery is sluggish at best, consumer confidence climbed higher in January to reach its best level since August.

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index jumped 3.2 percentage points to 80.7 this month compared to 77.5 in December. Economists expected the index to come in around 78. The lowest point for the index last year was 58 in January, while the highest point was reached in June, at 82.1. During the Great Recession, the index averaged a dismal 54.

“Consumer confidence advanced in January for the second consecutive month,” Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, said. “Consumers’ assessment of the present situation continues to improve, with both business conditions and the job market rated more favorably. Looking ahead six months, consumers expect the economy and their earnings to improve, but were somewhat mixed regarding the outlook for jobs. All in all, confidence appears to be back on track and rising expectations suggest the economy may pick up some momentum in the months ahead.”

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