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Consumer Confidence Up


Washington, D.C., Confidence in the economy has gone up as the Federal Reserve's bold interest-rate cut and less turmoil on Wall Street made people feel better about the country's prospects of surviving a painful credit crunch and housing slump.

The RBC Cash Index showed consumer confidence rose to 80.6 in early October. That was an improvement from September's reading of 71.1, the lowest in nearly one and a half years. The index is based on the results of the international polling firm Ipsos.

Individuals' sentiments about the economy's prospects and their own financial fortunes during the next six months rose to 25.7 in October, compared with 14.4 in September. The new reading suggests that while consumers feel better about the outlook, they still have some angst.

Problems in housing are expected to drag on well into next year. Also, home foreclosures and late payments probably will keep on climbing.

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