The latest data from The Conference Board showed consumer confidence improving 9.3 points for the month ending on Dec. 15. Consumers' assessment of the current market, short term outlook and outlook for the job market improved again in December, rising to levels seen in April 2011.
Consumers stating that business conditions were good rose to 16.6 percent, and those that said that business conditions were bad fell to 33.9 percent for the month of December. Also, consumers were more optimistic about their own outlook, with those anticipating more jobs in the coming months up almost one percent to 13.3 percent, and those anticipating fewer jobs down 2.7 percent to 13.4 percent for the month of December. Respondents also expected personal incomes to rise, with 17.1 anticipating a rise in personal incomes in the coming months.
"After two months of considerable gains, the Consumer Confidence Index is now back to levels seen last spring (April 2011, 66.0)," Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said in a release. "Consumers' assessment of current business and labor market conditions improved again."
"Looking ahead, consumers are more optimistic that business conditions, employment prospects, and their financial situations will continue to get better," Franco added. "While consumers are ending the year in a somewhat more upbeat mood, it is too soon to tell if this is a rebound from earlier declines or a sustainable shift in attitudes."