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U.S. consumer confidence rebounds in December

Staff writer |
U.S. consumer confidence improved in December after a decline in November, the New York-based research group Conference Board said.

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The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index registered 92.6 in December, up from the upwardly-revised 91.0 las

t month, but the fresh figure narrowly missed market expectations of 93.0. "Consumer confidence rebounded modestly in December, propelled by a considerably more favorable assessment of current economic and labor market conditions," said Lynn Franco, director of Economic Indicators at the Conference Board, in the report.

The report showed that the Present Situation Index rose to 98.6 from 93.7 last month, reaching its highest level since February 2008. Meanwhile, the Expectations Index decreased to 88.5 from 89.3.

"Consumers were moderately less optimistic about the short-term outlook in December, but even so, they are more confident at year-end than they were at the beginning of the year," Franco added.

The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months edged down from 18.3 percent to 18.0 percent, according to the report.

Consumers' outlook for the labor market was marginally less optimistic. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead decreased from 15.5 percent to 14.7 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs rose from 16.1 percent to 16.9 percent.