Consumer confidence hits 18-year high

The rock-solid jobs market and strong economy has consumers feeling confident, with the Conference Board reporting Tuesday that their Consumer Confidence Index climbed to an 18-year high in October.

The index came in at 137.9 in October, up from 135.3 in September. Consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions also improved, rising to 172.8 from 169.4, as did their short-term outlook, which increased to 114.6 from 112.5.

Consumer optimism is important this time of year when businesses hope for a holiday season shopping boost. As previously reported by FOX Business, on Monday consumer spending increased 0.4 percent in September, at an annual rate of 4.0 percent, according to data from the U.S. government, the fastest in nearly four years.

Consumer spending is crucial to the U.S. economy – with more than two-thirds of U.S. economic growth based on consumer spending.

A large portion of a consumer’s willingness to open their purse strings comes from their opinion on their employment prospects. The U.S. jobs market is very robust, with the unemployment rate falling to 3.7 percent in the September jobs report – the lowest since 1969. The latest reading on the U.S. jobs market, for October, will be released Friday.