Consumer confidence improved overall by a substantial amount in December, posting the fourth largest monthly gain in a quarter century, but consumers' views of home-buying conditions fell to the lowest level in 15 years, according to the University of Michigan's Survey of Consumers, released Friday. "Declines in gas prices were responsible for the substantial gain, which nearly restored confidence to the levels recorded prior to the spike in gas prices last August," said Richard Curtin, director of the university's consumer survey. The December gains were concentrated in consumers' evaluations of their financial situation. "Consumers judged their current finances much more favorably due to declines in gas prices, and were more likely to anticipate additional financial gains during the ye...
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