New York—The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index leapt 15 points in November, the biggest one-month increase seen since 2003. The Index stood at 56 for the month, compared to 40.9 for October. Both components of the Index—the “present situation” and “expectations”—rose.
Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center, says confidence has bounced back to levels last seen in July. Consumers’ assessments of current conditions finally improved after six months of decline, and their short-term outlook for jobs, business conditions, and income prospects also improved.
Stocks rose with release the news, coupled with clear efforts by European finance ministers to tackle the debt crisis over there, reported Bloomberg.com.
The Wall Street Journal says that while the Index still stands at anemic levels, the sudden leap is encouraging, especially given the political climate. Coupled with small but encouraging signs with regard to jobs—the rate of layoffs fell and unemployment dipped slightly—the Index rose even in the face of ongoing political wrangling in Washington. It suggests Americans are no longer becoming unnerved by it, but instead are tuning it out, a sharp contrast to the drop in confidence that followed the political infighting over the debt crisis last August.