US consumer confidence expected to show gain in November

MarketsAssociated Press

The Conference Board releases its November index on U.S. consumer confidence. The report will be issued at 10 a.m. EST Tuesday.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE: The expectation is that consumer confidence rose to a reading of 96.0 in November, according to a survey of economists by data firm FactSet.

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CONFIDENCE UP: In October, confidence rebounded strongly, hitting a seven-year high of 94.5. Households were encouraged by strong job gains which raised expectations for economic growth. The October reading was the best showing since October 2007, just before the start of the Great Recession.

Job gains and falling gasoline prices have helped to improve sentiment. The steep recession which claimed millions of jobs and made those still working fearful of further layoffs pushed confidence down sharply for a number of years after the recession ended in June 2009.

But steady hiring and fewer layoffs over the past 12 months have helped to boost confidence. The unemployment rate dropped to 5.8 percent in November, the lowest level since 2008.

And falling gas prices act like a tax cut, giving consumers a confidence boost and providing them with more money to spend on other items. The current nationwide average for a gallon of regular gas is $2.81, down from $3.07 just a month ago, AAA reports.