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US consumer confidence rebounds in December

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Shoppers take advantage of sales on New York's 5th Avenue (AFP)

US consumer confidence rebounded in December after falling the previous month, though Americans remained dubious in their outlook for 2015, the Conference Board reported Tuesday.

The consumer confidence index rose to 92.6 from 88.7 in November, still shy of the year’s peak at 94.5 in October, but well up from 77.5 a year ago.

Consumers views of the current situation in the economy were fairly strong, but the outlook for the next half year dimmed, with the expectations sub-index dropping to 88.5 from 89.3.

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There was little change in assessments of the jobs market, with only 17 percent of survey respondents calling jobs “plentiful.” Nearly the same proportion expects a gain in wages.

Consumer spending plans for the next half-year were slightly lower, especially for big-ticket items like homes and cars.

“Consumers were moderately less optimistic about the short-term outlook in December, but even so, they are more confident at year-end than they were at the beginning of the year,” said Lynn Franco, Conference Board director of indicators.


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