Consumer confidence posts another increase

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The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in November, rose again in December.

The index now stands at 52.9, up from 50.6 last month.

The Expectations Index increased to 75.6 from 70.3 last month. The Present Situation Index, however, declined to 18.8 from 21.2 in November.

"Consumer Confidence posted yet another moderate gain in December, as expectations for the short-term future increased to the highest level in two years," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, in a statement.

"The Present Situation Index, however, continued to lose ground and remains at a 26-year low," Franco added. "A more optimistic outlook for business and labor market conditions was the driving force behind the increase in the Expectations Index. Regarding income, however, consumers remain rather pessimistic about their short-term prospects, and this will likely continue to play a key role in spending decisions in early 2010."

The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The cutoff date for December's preliminary results was Dec. 21.

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