The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rose again in December and now stands at 64.5, up from 55.2 in November and the highest since April.
Economists and other financial experts closely watch the index because consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.
“After two months of considerable gains, the Consumer Confidence Index is now back to levels seen last spring (April 2011),” Conference Board Consumer Research Center director Lynn Franco said in a statement. “Looking ahead, consumers are more optimistic that business conditions, employment prospects and their financial situations will continue to get better.”
The Present Situation Index increased to 46.7 from 38.3 and the Expectations Index rose to 76.4 from 66.4.