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US consumer confidence hits post-recession high

[WASHINGTON] US consumer confidence rose in September to its highest level since the Great Recession, according to Conference Board figures released Tuesday.

The Board's consumer confidence index rose to 104.1, up from 101.8 in August. The reading handily surpassed a consensus forecast among analysts, which had called for a reading of 98.

"Consumers are more upbeat about the short-term employment outlook but somewhat neutral about business conditions and income prospects," Lynn Franco, the Board's head of economic indicators, said in a statement.

"Overall, consumers continue to rate current conditions favorably and foresee moderate economic expansion in the months ahead."

The index recorded a decline in the share of consumers who say current business conditions are "good," which fell from 30.3 per cent to 27.4 per cent. But those saying conditions are "bad" also dropped from 18.2 per cent to 16.2 per cent.

"This is the second straight upside surprise in the index and, while both expectations and the present situation component have risen, the latter has done most of the work, rising by more than 10 points in the past two months," said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

AFP