US consumer confidence climbs giving recovery hopes a boost

 
Ben Southwood
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US CONSUMER confidence rocketed to a seven-month high in September, the Conference Board’s index showed yesterday, while two house price indices indicate modest growth.

Sentiment jetted up from August’s 61.3 to 70.3 in September, where 100 is the average result recorded in boom year 1985, while expectations soared from 71.1 last month up to 83.7.

“The consumer confidence index rebounded in September,” said Lynn Franco at the Conference Board, “[bringing it] back to levels seen earlier this year.

“Consumers were more positive in their assessment of current conditions, in particular the job market, and considerably more optimistic about the short-term outlook for business conditions, employment, and their financial situation,” Franco added.

This data came as two house price indices for July indicated the market for homes could be recovering from the second, milder, slump it suffered following the credit crunch.

Prices across the 20 major cities that make up the S&P/Case-Shiller index rose 1.6 per cent in July, compared to June, putting them 1.2 per cent up on the year.

This data was partially supported by Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) data, which said prices grew over the period – though by only 0.2 per cent.

However, the broader FHFA data suggested a larger 3.7 per cent rise in prices over the 12 months to July.