U.S. consumer confidence rises in November

Consumer confidence increased in November as consumers were optimistic about current conditions, especially the job market, according to The Conference Board.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index rose to 73.7 in November from 73.1 in October. A reading of 90 or higher indicates a healthy economy.

The index measures how shoppers feel about business conditions, the job market and the next six months. Economists watch the index closely because consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity and is a critical part of a strong rebound.

Those expecting business conditions to improve during the next six months rose to 22.2 percent from 21.5 percent, and those expecting business conditions to worsen decreased from 15 percent to 14.3 percent.

Additionally, 20.3 percent expect more jobs during the next six months compared with 19.7 percent in October. Those expecting fewer jobs remained unchanged at 19.7 percent.

"The Consumer Confidence Index increased in November and now is at its highest level in more than four and a half years," says Lynn Franco, The Conference Board's director of economic indicators. "This month's moderate improvement was the result of an uptick in expectations, while consumers' assessment of present-day conditions continues to hold steady. During 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."

Date : 12/13/2012