Industry News

Consumer confidence up in January

But optimism for next six months cools

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Although improving job market conditions boosted consumer confidence in January, the outlook for the next six months grew weaker, The Conference Board reported today. "This month's slight increase in confidence was solely the result of an improvement in the present situation index, fueled primarily by a more favorable job market," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, in a statement. "Looking ahead, however, consumers are not as optimistic as they were in December. All in all, the Index suggests a moderate improvement in the pace of growth in early 2007." According to the consumer confidence index, which edged up from 110 in December to 110.3 this month, consumers' overall assessment of current-day conditions was more upbeat than in December. Those claiming conditions are "good" increased to 28.1 percent from 27.4 percent, while fewer people (19.7 percent) say jobs are "hard to get" this month and more people (29.9 percent) claim jobs are "plent...