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Tue Feb 28, 2012, 02:07 PM

American Confidence Climbs to Highest Level in Year on Job Growth [View all]

Confidence among U.S. consumers climbed to a 12-month high in February, signaling household spending will help sustain the expansion.

The Conference Board’s index increased more than forecast, to 70.8 from 61.5 in January, figures from the New York-based private research group showed today. Economists projected the gauge would climb to 63, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey.

Americans are growing more upbeat after unemployment fell to a three year low and stock-market rally boosted household wealth, helping them withstand lower home prices and higher gasoline costs. Another report showed durable goods orders declined in January by the most since 2009 after the expiration of a tax break allowing full expensing of business equipment purchases.

“We’re seeing further evidence the labor market is better,” said Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in New York. With more improvement, “a self-sustaining feedback loop will become present whereby rising income engenders a further lift in confidence, which in turn lifts spending.”



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