U.S. consumer confidence rises in October

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

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index rose to 72.2 in October from 68.4 in September. 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 rose to 21.4 percent from 17.9 percent; however, those expecting business conditions to worsen also increased, rising to 15.1 percent from 14.5 percent.

Additionally, 19.2 percent expect more jobs during the next six months compared with 18.1 percent in September. Those expecting fewer jobs increased from 18.7 percent to 20.3 percent.

"The Consumer Confidence Index increased again in October and is now at its highest level this year," says Lynn Franco, The Conference Board's director of economic indicators. "Consumers were considerably more positive in their assessment of current conditions, with improvements in the job market as the major driver. Consumers were modestly more upbeat about their financial situations and the short-term economic outlook and appear to be in better spirits approaching the holiday season."

Date : 11/13/2012