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Confidence among consumers catapulted to a 13-year high in December, posting a 105.5 Expectations reading of The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, the highest level since 107.4 in December 2003. The upshot builds on optimism expressed in November, with the Index overall posting 113.7 in December.

“Consumer confidence improved further in December, due solely to increasing Expectations which hit a 13-year high,” said Lynn Franco, director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, in a statement. “The post-election surge in optimism for the economy, jobs and income prospects, as well as for stock prices—which reached a 13-year high—was most pronounced among older consumers.”

President-Elect Donald Trump commented on the growing optimism through Twitter, tweeting, “The U.S. Consumer Confidence Index for December surged nearly four points to 113.7, THE HIGHEST LEVEL IN MORE THAN 15 YEARS! Thanks Donald!”

The Present Situation reading of the Index, which posted 126.1 from 132.0 in November, remains a solid indicator, according to Franco.

“Consumers’ assessment of current conditions, which declined, still suggests that economic growth continued through the final months of 2016,” Franco said. “Looking ahead to 2017, consumers’ continued optimism will depend on whether or not their expectations are realized.”

The percentage of consumers who believe business conditions are “good,” as defined by the Index, decreased from 29.7 percent in November to 29.2 percent in December; the percentage of those who believe business conditions are “bad” increased from 15.2 percent in November to 17.3 percent in December. The percentage of those who expect business conditions to improve increased from 16.4 percent in November to 23.6 percent in December; the percentage of those who expect business conditions to worsen decreased from 9.9 percent in November to 8.7 percent in December.

The percentage of consumers who believe jobs are “plentiful” decreased from 27.8 percent in November to 26.9 percent in December, according to the Index; the percentage of those who believe jobs are “hard to get” increased from 21.2 percent in November to 22.5 percent in December. The percentage of those who expect more jobs in the coming months increased from 16.1 percent in November to 21.0 percent in December; the percentage of those who expect less jobs in the coming months increased from 13.5 percent in November to 14.0 percent in December.

The percentage of consumers who expect higher income, as well, increased from 17.4 percent in November to 21.0 percent in December; the percentage of those who expect less decreased from 9.2 percent in November to 8.6 percent in December.

Source: The Conference Board

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