The consumer confidence index was up in January, reaching levels not seen since last spring.
The index stands at 60.6, up from 53.3 in December. The Present Situation Index improved to 31 from 24.9. The Expectations Index increased to 80.3 from 72.3 last month.
"Consumers have begun the year in better spirits. As a result, the index is now near levels not seen since last spring (May 2010, index 62.7)," said Lynn Franco, director of Consumer Research Center at The Conference Board, in a statement. "Consumers rated business and labor market conditions more favorably and expressed greater confidence that the economy will continue to expand and generate more jobs in the months ahead. Income expectations are also more positive."
Consumers' assessment of current conditions was more positive in January. Those who say business conditions are "good" increased to 9.8 percent from 7.7 percent and those who say business conditions are "bad" was virtually unchanged at 40.4 percent.
Consumers' appraisal of the job market was also more upbeat than last month. Those who say jobs are "plentiful" rose to 5.2 percent from 4.2 percent and those who say jobs are "hard to get" declined to 43.4 percent from 46 percent.