U.S. consumer confidence rises in January

Consumer confidence increased in January as consumers expressed more confidence in business conditions and job prospects, according to The Conference Board.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index rose to 80.7 in January from 77.5 in December 2013. 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 crucial part of a strong rebound.

Those expecting business conditions to improve during the next six months remained unchanged at 17.4 percent, and those expecting business conditions to worsen decreased to 12.1 percent from 13.9 percent.

Additionally, 15.4 percent expect more jobs during the next six months compared with 17.1 percent in December 2013. Those expecting fewer jobs decreased from 19.4 percent to 18.3 percent.

"Consumer confidence advanced in January for the second consecutive month," says Lynn Franco, The Conference Board's director of economic indicators. "Consumers' assessment of the present situation continues to improve, with 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."

Date : 2/4/2014