US consumer confidence at highest in 4½ years
WASHINGTON – U.S. consumer confidence rose this month to its highest level in almost five years, helped by a better outlook for hiring over the next six months.
The Conference Board said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index rose to 73.7 in November from 73.1 in October. Both are the best readings since February 2008.
The index is still below the level of 90 that is consistent with a healthy economy. It last reached that point in December 2007, the first month of the Great Recession. But the index has increased from the all-time low of 25.3 touched in February 2009.
Home prices increase in most major US cities
WASHINGTON – Homeprices increased in September in most major U.S. cities, more evidence of a housing recovery that is providing a lift to the fragile economy.
Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller reported Tuesday that its 20-city index of homeprices rose 3 percent in September compared with the same month last year. Prices also gained 3.6 percent in the July-September quarter compared with the same quarter in 2011.
Across the nation, prices increased in 18 of 20 cities over the 12-month period. In Phoenix, prices jumped 20.4 percent over that stretch to lead all cities. Prices in Atlanta showed a modest 0.1 percent increase, ending 26 straight consecutive year-over-year declines.