Consumer confidence posted its third consecutive monthly gain in October, rising to its highest level since July 2007. The October gain was due to improved personal finances as well as a more favorable outlook for the overall economy. Indeed, consumers reported the most favorable personal financial expectations as well as the most positive year-ahead outlook for the national economy in the past seven years. What the survey did not find was any negative impact on confidence from the global economic slowdown, military conflicts, or Ebola. None of these issues was mentioned by more than a few respondents; instead, respondents emphasized improved wage and employment prospects due to a stronger economy. Gains in holiday spending are expected to be the best in several years, benefiting from higher confidence as well as falling gas prices at the pump.
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