US consumer confidence up

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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Consumer confidence rose in December to levels closer to those before huricane Katrina according to the Conference Board Consumer Research Center's consumer confidence index. The index was at 105.5 before the huricane hit the port of New Orleans disrupting oil production and trade for a large part of the country. The index was at 102.7 in December last year.

The index rose to 103.6 from a revised 98.3 for November. The index was expected to only rise to 102.5.

"Consumer confidence continues to bounce back and is now at its highest level since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast" said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center.

Most of the change is attributed to falling gas prices and an improved job outlook.

"The resiliency of the economy, recent declines in prices at the pump, and job growth have consumers feeling more confident at year-end than they felt at the start of 2005," Franco said. "Even though all of the improvement over the past twelve months has been in consumers' assessment of current conditions, and expectations remain below earlier levels, consumers are confident that the economy will continue to expand in 2006."