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Consumer Confidence Index surges to 104.1 in September vs. estimate of 99

A key measure of consumers' attitudes increased in September, to its highest level since the recession.

The Consumer Confidence Index hit 104.1 in September, The Conference Board said on Tuesday. Economists expected the Consumer Confidence Index to hit 99.0 in September, down from August's revised reading of 101.8, according to Thomson Reuters consensus estimate.

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The survey, a closely followed barometer of consumer attitudes, measures confidence toward business conditions, short-term outlook, personal finances and jobs.

A larger share, 27.9 percent of those surveyed, felt that jobs were plentiful in September, up from 26.8 percent in the prior month. Those claiming jobs were "hard to get" declined to 21.6 percent, from 22.8 percent, The Conference Board said.

"Looking ahead, consumers are more upbeat about the short-term employment outlook, but somewhat neutral about business conditions and income prospects," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. "Overall, consumers continue to rate current conditions favorably and foresee moderate economic expansion in the months ahead."