The consumer confidence index surged to 72.2 in October from a downwardly revised 68.4 in September, The Conference Board reported Thursday.

The September index was originally reported as 70.3.

The present situation index grew to 56.2 from a downwardly revised 48.7, originally reported as 50.2, while the expectations index rose to 82.9 from a downwardly revised 81.5, originally reported as 83.7.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted a 72.5 reading for the index.

“The Consumer Confidence Index increased again in October and is now at its highest level this year. Consumers were considerably more positive in their assessment of current conditions, with improvements in the job market as the major driver,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board's Consumer Research Center. “Consumers were modestly more upbeat about their financial situation and the short-term economic outlook, and appear to be in better spirits approaching the holiday season.”

Business conditions were called “good” by 16.5% of respondents in October, up from 15.3% in September. Those saying conditions are “bad” dipped to 33.1% from 33.8%.

The percentage of consumers expecting a pickup in business conditions in the next half year grew to 21.4% from 17.9%, while 15.1% said they expect conditions to worsen, up from 14.5% the prior month.

On the jobs front, those who believe jobs are “plentiful” rose to 10.3% in October from 8.1% in September, while the number saying jobs are “hard to get” decreased to 39.4% this survey from 40.7%. The respondents who see fewer jobs becoming available in a half year, increased to 20.3% from 18.7%. Those expecting more jobs to become available climbed to 19.2% from 18.1%, The Conference Board reported.

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