Consumer Confidence Jumps in September

NEW YORK-The monthly consumer confidence gained a heady nine points in The Conference Board's September survey of consumers, finishing at 70.3, its highest level since February.

A rosier view of both current and future conditions among the consumers participating in the survey helped drive the index upward. Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board's Consumer Research Center, said, "Consumers were more positive in their assessment of current conditions, in particular the job market, and considerably more optimistic about the short-term outlook for business conditions, employment and their financial situation."

This optimism was reflected in the upward moves by the overall index's two component indexes, present situation and expectations. The present situation index gained 3.7 points to 50.2, while the expectations index increased by 12.6 points to 83.7.

In addition, the percentage of consumers who saw current business conditions as good, as the percentage of those with an upbeat view of the job market, both increased in the September survey. A larger ratio of consumers also gave thumbs-up to business conditions over the next six months, as did those expecting more jobs in the months ahead.

"Despite continuing economic uncertainty, consumers are slightly more optimistic than they have been in several months," Franco said.

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