Consumer confidence in the United States rose in November, according to the Conference Board. The group's Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 44.9, up from a revised 38.8 in October. Last month's reading was the lowest since the research group started tracking the index in 1967.
The Present Situation Index declined to 42.2 from 43.5 last month. The Expectations Index, which is consumers' assessment of the U.S. economy over the next 6 months, increased to 46.7 from 35.7 in October.
"The persistent declines in the Present Situation Index suggest that the economy has weakened further in the final months of this year," Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said. "But despite the improvement in the Expectations Index this month, consumers remain extremely pessimistic and the possibility that economic growth will improve in the first half of 2009 remains highly unlikely."
The Conference Board results — derived from responses received through Nov. 18 of a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households — showed that consumers' assessment of the labor market was more negative than a month ago. Those saying jobs are "hard to get" rose to 37.2% from 36.6% in October, while those claiming jobs are "plentiful" decreased to 8.8% from 9%.
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