Consumer Confidence Hits Five-Month High as Recovery Gains Stronger Foothold

Confidence among U.S. consumers rose in November to the highest level in five months and a gauge of business activity unexpectedly climbed, signaling the recovery is taking hold heading into 2011, reports.

The Conference Board’s sentiment index jumped to 54.1, figures from the New York-based research group showed. The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc. said its business gauge climbed to the highest it’s been since April. “The economy has weathered the soft patch and is regaining some lost momentum,” Ward McCarthy, chief financial economist at Jefferies & Co. Inc. in New York told Bloomberg. “Consumers are being fairly jolly as far as the early Christmas season is concerned.”

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