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The Conference Board reports that its consumer confidence index hit 106.3 in January from a revised 103.8 in December. It was the third straight month of improvement and the highest it has been since June 2002.

However, the Conference Board’s expectations index, which measures the near-term future, was off a bit, to 91.5 in January from 92.6 in December, suggesting some residual skittishness on the part of consumers.
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