U.S. consumer confidence rose 3.9 percent in September from August as optimism about the state of personal finances offset continued worry about the weak labor market.
Investor's Business Daily and TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence said their IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index rose to 45.3 in September from 43.6 in August.
Readings above 50 indicate optimism, while those below 50 point to pessimism.
The index is now 1.5 points below its 12-month average of 46.8, and 0.9 points above the 44.4 level IBD reported in December 2007 when the recession began.
"Recent rallies in the stock market may be helping some Americans feel better about their own finances," said Terry Jones, associate editor of Investor's Business Daily. "But the continued slow-growth recovery and 9.6 percent unemployment rate have certainly hurt overall."
Those surveyed were more upbeat about their household finances in the next six months. The gauge's personal financial outlook measure rose 7.3 percent in the month to 52.8.
The index's six-month economic outlook component improved 2 percent to 44.2 and is now 12.1 points above its level in December 2007.
The IBD/TIPP surveys more than 900 adults generally in the first week of the month.
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