The consumer confidence index climbed to 55.9 in January from an upwardly revised 53.6 last month, the Conference Board reported yesterday.

The December index was originally reported as 52.9.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted the index would be 53.5.

The present situation index rose to 25.0 from an upwardly revised 20.2, originally reported as 18.8, while the expectations index rose to 76.5 from an upwardly revised 75.9 last month, originally seen as 75.6.

“Consumer confidence rose for the third consecutive month, primarily the result of an improvement in present-day conditions,” said Lynn Franco, director of the board’s consumer research center. “Consumers’ short-term outlook, while moderately more positive, does not suggest any significant pickup in activity in the coming months. Regarding their financial situation, while consumers were less dire about their income prospects than in December, the number of pessimists continues to outnumber the optimists.”

Business conditions were called “good” by 9.0% of respondents in January, an increase from 7.5% in December. Those saying conditions are “bad” rose to 46.1% from 45.7%.

The percentage of consumers expecting a pickup in business conditions in the next half year slid to 20.9% from 21.2%, while 12.7% said they expect conditions to worsen, up from 11.8% the prior month.

On the jobs front, those who believe jobs are “plentiful” increased to 4.3% in January from 3.1% in December, while the number saying jobs are “hard to get” decreased to 47.4% this survey from 48.1%. The respondents who see more jobs becoming available in a half year fell to 15.5% from 16.4%. Those expecting fewer jobs to become available slid to 18.9% from 20.6%.

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