U.S. consumer confidence has risen to its highest point since August on the strength of a brighter view of the job market and business conditions.
The Associated Press reported that the Conference Board, a business research group, said its consumer confidence index rose to 80.7 in January from a December reading of 77.5. It was the second consecutive strong gain.
“Confidence appears to be back on track and rising expectations suggest the economy may pick up some momentum in the months ahead,” said Conference Board economist Lynn Franco.
Consumer confidence is closely watched because consumer spending accounts for 70% of U.S. economic activity.
Amna Asaf, an economist at Capital Economics, said the January improvement was encouraging given the unseasonably cold weather during the month. She said it probably reflected the strong stock market gains that were occurring during the survey period, which ended on Jan. 16.
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