WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. consumers' confidence in the economy rose this month on a better outlook for hiring and growth.
The Conference Board says its index of consumer confidence rose to 78.1 in December, up from 72 in the previous month. November's figure was revised up from 70.4. The December increase followed three months of declines.
Americans expressed more confidence that steady job gains would continue.
Consumers' confidence is closely watched because their spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.
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