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Consumer Confidence Hits Five-month High

NEW YORK - While consumers don't exactly think things are great right now, they do anticipate improvement, helping to drive up the Consumer Confidence Index to 54.1 in November from 49.9 in October.
     The Present Situation Index rose to 24.0 from 23.5. The Expectations Index increased to 74.2 from 67.5 last month.
     "Expectations, the main driver of this month's increase in confidence, are now at the highest level since May (Exp. Index, 84.6). Hopefully, the improvement in consumers' mood will continue in the months ahead," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, which conducts the survey.
     A majority, 43.6%, describe current business conditions as "bad." Consumers who see conditions as "good" fell to 8.1% from 8.3% last month.
     But survey respondents are expecting things to get better. Consumers who believe conditions will improve over the next six months rose to 16.7% from 15.8% last month.

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