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Consumer confidence at highest level since June

New York - Optimism about the U.S. economy grew in November, pushing the latest reading on consumer sentiment to the highest level since June. The Consumer Confidence Index rose to 54.1 in November, up from a negatively revised 49.9 in October, the Conference Board, a New York-based research group that compiles the index, said Tuesday. Economists were expecting the index to increase to 52.

"Consumer confidence is now at its highest level in five months, a welcome sign as we enter the holiday season," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "Hopefully, the improvement in consumers' mood will continue in the months ahead."

The percentage of Americans expecting business conditions to pick up over the next several months increased to 16.7% from 15.8% last month, and fewer expected circumstances to worsen. Consumers were also more positive about job prospects, with 15.5% expecting more jobs in the months ahead, up from 14.5%. And over 10% are anticipating a boost in their incomes, according to the report.

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