Consumer confidence rises to yearly high

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New York—Spurred by better job growth, the Consumer Confidence Index rose last month to its highest level in almost five years. The October reading, 72.2, was the highest since February 2008, and was up from 68.4 in September. According to the Conference Board, which issues the index, those stating jobs are “plentiful” increased to 10.3% in October from 8.1% in September, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” declined to 39.4%, from 40.7%. Also, consumers claiming business conditions are “good” rose to 16.5% from 15.3% the month before, while those saying business conditions are “bad” edged down to 33.1%, from 33.8%. “Consumers were considerably more positive in their assessment of current conditions, with improvements in the job market as the major driver,” Lynn Franco, director-economic indicators at the Conference Board, said in a statement. “Consumers were modestly more upbeat about their financial situation and the short-term economic outlook, and appear to be in better spirits approaching the holiday season.”
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