Consumer confidence hits 130.8 in February vs expectation of 126.3

Key Points
  • U.S. consumer confidence was forecast to rise in February.
  • The measure bounced back in January after falling in December.
A shopper makes a purchase at a Best Buy store in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Eddie Seal | Bloomberg | Getty Images

U.S. consumer confidence surged in February, building off its rebound from January and reaching the highest level since 2000.

The Conference Board's measure of consumer attitudes on current and future economic conditions increased to 130.80 in February, up from 124.30 in January.

The newest reading is the index's highest since November 2000, when confidence peaked at 132.60.

The view of an improving labor force was the main driver of the boost in consumer confidence, said The Conference Board's director of economic indicators, Lynn Franco.

"Despite the recent stock market volatility, consumers expressed greater optimism about short-term prospects for business and labor market conditions, as well as their financial prospects," Franco said.

"Overall, consumers remain quite confident that the economy will continue expanding at a strong pace in the months ahead."

Feelings about short-term economic prospects, in particular, shot back up in January after declining sharply the month before.

The index takes into account Americans' views of current economic conditions and their expectations for the next six months. Economists pay close attention to the numbers because consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.