December consumer confidence rebounds modestly

People line up near laptop computers to make their purchases at a Best Buy in New York.
Carlo Allegri | Reuters
People line up near laptop computers to make their purchases at a Best Buy in New York.

Consumers are feeling more favorable about the economy this month.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index hit 92.6 in December, just missing estimates. Economists polled by Reuters expected a reading of 93. However, this month's reading is still an improvement compared to November's revised 91 figure. November's index originally read 88.7.

The end-of-year rise in the indicator was propelled by more positive outlooks on economic and labor market conditions, the group said. but short term assessment was marginally less positive.

"The Present Situation Index is now at its highest level since February 2008 (Index, 104.0). 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, director of economic indicators at the group.

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Consumers surveyed for the index that claimed business conditions are "bad" decreased to 19.6 percent in December from 21.8 percent in November. They also held more favorable appraisals of the job market, with those saying jobs are "plentiful" increasing from 16.2 percent to 17.1 percent in the same periods.

Optimism about the short-term economic outlook eased moderately for the month: consumers anticipating business conditions to improve in the next 6 months edged down to 18 percent from 18.3 percent last month. Short term outlook for the labor market was less positive as well—those expecting more jobs in the months to come decreased to 14.7 percent from 15.5 percent.

The monthly consumer confidence survey is conducted by Nielsen for The Conference Board.