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The Conference Board said that its Consumer Confidence Index for November is 98.9, up from 85.2 in October, and its Expectations Index is up to 88.8 from 70.1 last month.

"A decline of more than 40 cents in gasoline prices this month and the improving job outlook have combined to help restore consumers' confidence," Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, tells the Wall Street Journal. "While the Index remains below its pre-Katrina levels, the shock of the hurricanes and subsequent leap in gas prices has begun wearing off just in time for the holiday season. Despite this latest boost in confidence, holiday spending will be driven by the bargains consumers have come to expect."
KC's View:
Confidence, of course, depends on your point of view.

For example, if you happen to work for General Motors, maybe you’d be feeling a little less enthusiastic about economic prospects.

Based on this morning’s news, you might not even feel good about the economy if you work for Marsh Supermarkets.

We tend to be a glass-half-full, “always look on the bright side of life” kind of guy…but we have trouble with maintaining that kind of optimism about the economy, no matter what the reports say. We know too many people who are either out of work or fearful of losing their jobs.