Consumer confidence heads higher

Feb. 28, 2012 at 3:05 PM
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NEW YORK, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Consumer confidence in the United States regained some lost ground in February, the Conference Board said Tuesday.

The index, which hit a two-year low in August, then posted gains in September, November and December, sliding a touch in October and January.

But the index that assigns 1985 a base value of 100 rose to 70.8 in February, up from January's 61.5, the Conference Board said.

The monthly Consumer Confidence Index is based on a survey of 5,000 households.

"Consumers are considerably less pessimistic about current business and labor market conditions than they were in January. And, despite further increases in gas prices, they are more optimistic about the short-term outlook for the economy, job prospects, and their financial situation," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, in a statement.

In February, the number of respondents to the survey indicating economic conditions were "good" rose from 13.2 percent to 13.3 percent. The percentage of respondents indicating conditions were "bad" fell from 38.3 percent to 31.2 percent.

Consumers indicated a bit more optimism about jobs. The percentage of respondents indicating jobs were "plentiful" rose from 6.2 percent to 6.6 percent while the number indicating jobs were "hard to get" fell from 43.3 percent to 38.7 percent.

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