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Consumer Confidence Rises in October

Consumer confidence rises on less pessimism about future prospects.



) -- Consumer confidence improved in October after declining in September, with Americans less pessimistic about the future.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index increased to 50.2 after declining to 48.6 in September. The index came in higher than expectations of teh index rising slightly to 49.

Consumers' assessment of the current situation was mixed, with the Present Situation Index rising slightly to 23.9 from 23.3. Americans had a more favorable view of current business conditions but a less favorable view of the current jobs market.

Consumer expectations showed a more marked improvement, with the Expectations Index rising to 67.8 from 65.5. More expected business conditions to improve in the future but were mixed in their outlook for the labor market over the next six months, with fewer consumers expecting their incomes to increase or for more jobs to open up.

Market experts say consumer confidence is unlikely to improve unless home prices pick up and the jobs market improves significantly. Last week,

initial jobless claims fell more than expected to 452,000, not nearly enough though to encourage consumers to start spending.

The S&P Case-Shiller 20-city index of national home prices rose in October,

but the pace of acceleration in home prices was slowing..



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were up 1% and 0.4% respectively after the report on Tuesday morning.

-- Written by Shanthi Venkataraman in New York

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