The U.S. economy got a positive boost this morning when a private-sector report indicated that consumer confidence bounced back from a 2-1/2 year low in November. The Conference Board said its index of consumer attitudes jumped to 56.0 from an upwardly revised 40.0 in October.
"Consumers appear to be entering the holiday season in better spirits, though overall readings remain historically weak," said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center.
Additionally, consumers' labor-market assessments improved. The number of respondents that said they found "jobs hard to get" dropped to 42.1 percent from 46.9 percent, while the "jobs plentiful" index rose to 5.8 percent from 3.6 percent.
Consumers also saw the job situation improving over the next six months. The report showed 24.1 percent of respondents thinking there would be fewer jobs in the future, down from 27.6 percent thinking that a month ago.