Consumer confidence up in November

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The Conference Board's Consumer Consumer Confidence Index rose in November to its highest level in more than 4-1/2 years.

It was a sign that U.S. household spending will continue to grow, Bloomberg News reported.

The index climbed to 73.7, the highest since February 2008, from a revised 73.1 reading the prior month, figures from the New York-based private research group showed today. The median forecast of 75 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected a reading of 73.

The report showed that the share of Americans planning to buy a house rose to a record high, indicating that improving property values and a job market recovery are making households more willing to make long-term commitments. Sustained gains in consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy, might help overcome concern about the fiscal cliff of tax increases and government spending cuts slated for early next year.

“Confidence is holding up well,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in New York, who had projected that the confidence measure would climb to 74. “Spending is going to continue to increase. This bodes well for the fourth quarter.”

Click here for the full report.

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