Report says consumer confidence soars in November

Tuesday, November 29th 2005, 9:34 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP)_ Consumer confidence soared in November as declining gasoline prices contributed to a stronger-than-expected reading just before the holiday shopping season.

The Conference Board reported Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index rose to 98.9, up from 85.2 in October. Analysts had expected a reading of 90. The better-than-expected results reversed a consecutive two-month decline.

``A decline of more than 40 cents in gasoline prices this month and the improving job outlook have combined to help restore consumers' confidence,'' said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, in a statement.

``While the index remains below its pre-Katrina levels, the shock of the hurricanes and subsequent leap in gas prices has begun wearing off just in time for the holiday season,'' Franco said.

Still, she warned, the holiday spending will be fueled by the bargains consumers have come to expect.

One component of the report, which examines consumers' views of the current economic situation, rose to 114.0 from 107.8. The expectations index, which measures consumers' outlook over the next six months, surged to 88.8 from 70.1 last month.