Consumer confidence climbs to one-year high

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The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased in February after a drop in January.

The index now stands at 70.8, up from 61.5 in January. The Present Situation Index increased to 45 from 38.8. The Expectations Index rose to 88 from 76.7 in January.

“Consumer confidence, which had declined last month, posted a sizable improvement in February,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center.

“The index is now close to levels last seen a year ago (February 2011, 72.). 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.”

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