A monthly survey says consumers' confidence in the economy rose again in December. The rise was fueled by a long-term outlook on jobs that reached its highest level in two years.
The New York-based Conference Board says its Consumer Confidence Index rose to 52.9, up from a revised 50.6 in November. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters predicted a reading of 52.
The reading is still far short of the 90 that would signify a solid economy.
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Economists watch consumer sentiment because spending on goods and services for consumers accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.
The survey of 5,000 ran Dec. 1 through 21.
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