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BUSINESS SOFTWARE

Consumer Confidence Inches Up

Lower gas prices helped ease inflation fears, boosting the long-term outlook on the economy, the Conference Board reports.
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Consumer confidence improved this month after dropping to an all-time low in October, the Conference Board reported Tuesday.

Lower gas prices helped lift the New York-based private research group's monthly consumer confidence index to 44.9, up from 38.8 last month. Despite the modest gains, improved expectations were offset by continued declines in consumers' attitude toward current economic conditions.

More consumers in November felt that business conditions were good, though over 40 percent remained pessimistic about jobs and growth, the report said.

Still, growing fears of inflation appear to have dissipated, according to Lynn Franco, the group's director of consumer research.

"Inflation expectations, which have been at historically high levels in recent months, subsided considerably as a result of falling gas prices," Franco said in a statement.

She said consumers aren't expecting economic growth to return before mid 2009.

The Conference Board's monthly consumer confidence index is based on a survey of over 5,000 U.S. households.

Last updated: Nov 25, 2008




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