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) -- Consumer confidence got a boost in November according to a report from the Conference Board.

Consumer confidence rose to 54.1 in November compared with 49.9 in October. The present situation index climbed to 24 from 23.5 and the expectations index increased to 74.2 from 67.5.

"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. "Consumers' assessment of the current state of the economy and job market, while only slightly better than last month, suggests the economy is still expanding, albeit slowly. Expectations, the main driver of this month's increase in confidence, are now at the highest level since May. Hopefully, the improvement in consumers' mood will continue in the months ahead."

The survey found that consumers were more optimistic in their near-term outlook, with 16.7% believing business conditions would improve over the next six months compared with 15.8% in October. Those thinking business conditions would deteriorate fell to 12.1% from 14.4%.

-- Written by Ross Tucker in New York.

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