NEW YORK, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. consumer confidence rose to a new high for 2012 in October, with consumers "in better spirits" for the holiday season, the Conference Board said.
The October increase resulted in the first monthly back-to-back gain in the confidence index for 2012. The index rose in January, July, September and now October.
In October, 16.5 percent of respondents to a survey that involves more than 5,000 households indicated they believed business conditions were "good," up from 15.3 percent in September.
Fewer indicated the believed business conditions were "bad" -- 33.1 percent compared to 33.8 percent.
The percentage of respondents indicating jobs were "easy to get," rose from 8.1 percent to 10.3 percent, while those indicating jobs were "hard to get" fell from 40.7 percent to 39.4 percent.
The overall Consumer Confidence Index, which assigns 1985 a base value of 100, rose in the month from 68.4 to 72.2, the highest level of the year, the Conference Board said.
"Consumers were considerably more positive in their assessment of current conditions, with improvements in the job market as the major driver. Consumers were modestly more upbeat about their financial situation and the short-term economic outlook, and appear to be in better spirits approaching the holiday season," said Lynn Franco, director of the board's Consumer Research Center.
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