Consumers confidence at five-month high as retailers head into holiday season

Purchases rose for a fifth month in October

New York City -- Confidence among U.S. consumers increased more than forecast in November to the highest level in five months. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment rose to 71.6 during the month, from 67.7 in October. Economists had projected a reading of 69.5.

The report came as retailers prepared for the Black Friday shopping onslaught, the official start of the holiday shopping season.

Consumer purchases, which account for about 70% of the economy, rose for a fifth month in October. The survey’s measure of current conditions, which reflects Americans’ perceptions of their financial situation, increased to 82.1 from 76.6 in October.

Consumer expectations for six months from now, which more closely projects the direction of consumer spending, rose to 64.8 from 61.9, today’s confidence report showed.

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