NEW YORK (1/28/15)--U.S. consumer confidence surged in January to its highest level since August 2007.
The Conference Board, a private research group, said its index of consumer confidence jumped to 102.9 from a revised 93.1 in December, first reported as 92.6, The Wall Street Journal reported (Jan. 27).
"A more positive assessment of current business and labor market conditions contributed to the improvement in consumers' view of the present situation," said Lynn Franco, Conference Board director of economic indicators and surveys. "Consumers also expressed a considerably higher degree of optimism regarding the short-term outlook for the economy and labor market, as well as their earnings."
Consumers' assessment of present-day conditions was considerably more favorable in January than in December. Those saying business conditions are "good" increased to 28.1% from 24.7%, while those claiming business conditions are "bad" decreased to 16.8% from 18.9%.
Consumers were also much more positive in their assessment of the job market. Those stating jobs are "plentiful" increased to 20.5% from 17.2%. Those claiming jobs are "hard to get" decreased to 25.7% from 27.3%.
The economy grew from July through September at a 5% annual rate, the fastest in 11 years.
Adding to improving spirits: Gas prices have plunged to $2.04 a gallon Tuesday from $2.32 a gallon a month ago, according to AAA.