Consumer confidence in January rose to its highest point since before the recession, according to a report from The Conference Board.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index is now at 102.9 points, up from 93.1 in December. The Conference Board's Present Situation Index rose to 112.6 points from 99.9 points, while the Expectations Index increased to 96.4 from 88.5 in December. The numbers are all based on a survey condo ted for The Conference Board, a think-tank based in New York City, by Nielsen Holdings.

A drill down of the numbers shows consumers have a generally positive outlook on the economy and the job market:

    •     Those saying business conditions are "good" increased from 24.7% to 28.1%.
   
    •    Those claiming business conditions are "bad" decreased from 18.9% to 16.8%.
       
    •    Consumers expecting growth in their incomes improved from 16.2% to 20%.
       
    •    However, the proportion expecting a decrease increased marginally, from 10.2% to 11.3%.
       
    •    Those stating jobs are "plentiful" increased from 17.2% to 20.5%. Those claiming jobs are "hard to get" decreased from 27.3% to 25.7%.
       
    •    Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead increased from 14.6% to 16.7%.
       
    •    Those anticipating fewer jobs in the months ahead declined from 16.5% to 15.0%.
       
    •    The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months rose from 17.8% to 18.4%.
       
    •    Those expecting business conditions to worsen declined from 9.9% to 7.7%.

Lynn Franco, director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, said in a news release:

"Consumer confidence rose sharply in January, and is now at its highest level since August 2007 (Index, 105.6). A more positive assessment of current business and labor market conditions contributed to the improvement in consumers' view of the present situation. Consumers also expressed a considerably higher degree of optimism regarding the short-term outlook for the economy and labor market, as well as their earnings."

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