The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had rebounded in November, improved further in December. The Index now stands at 103.6, up from 98.3 in November. The present situation index surged to 121.5 from 113.2. The expectations index increased to 91.6 from 88.4 last month. "Consumer confidence continues to bounce back and is now at its highest level since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "The resiliency of the economy, recent declines in prices at the pump, and job growth have consumers feeling more confident at year-end than they felt at the start of 2005. "Even though all of the improvement over the past 12 months has been in consumers' assessment of current conditions, and expectations...
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