US consumer confidence climbs to 15-year high in December

Markets Associated Press

FILE - In this Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, file photo, shoppers return to their car at a mall in King of Prussia, Pa. On Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016, the Conference Board releases its December index on U.S. consumer confidence. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File) (The Associated Press)

U.S. consumer confidence shot up this month to the highest level in more than 15 years, another sign that Americans are feeling good after a divisive election.

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The Conference Board says its consumer confidence index climbed to 113.7 in December, up from 109.4 in November and the highest since it reached 114 in August 2001.

The index measures consumers' assessment of current conditions, which dipped from November but was still sunny, and their expectations for the future, which hit a 13-year high.

Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, said the "post-election surge in optimism" was strongest among older Americans.

The U.S. economy grew at a 3.5 percent annual pace from July to September, fastest in two years. Unemployment is at a nine-year low of 4.6 percent.