US consumers hopeful as confidence figures soar

 
City A.M. Reporter
CONSUMER confidence in the US climbed by the most in more than eight years during November, figures showed yesterday, increasing to 56 from a revised 40.9 reading in October.

The Conference Board’s index showed the biggest monthly gain since April 2003, rebounding this month from a to-and-a-half-year low, but a fall in house prices in September underscored the weak foundations of the recovery.

“This is a huge rise in consumer confidence. It gets us back to second quarter levels and further underscores the dramatic move that we’ve seen in consumer spending,” said Lindsey Piegza, an economist at FTN Financial in New York.

“Generally when the consumer becomes happier, more confident, they're generally more likely to dip their toes back into spending.”

Earlier, data had showed that the beleaguered housing market is still struggling to get back on its feet.

The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas fell 0.6 per cent from August on a seasonally adjusted basis, falling short of economists’ forecasts for no change.