By David Harrison

Americans grew more optimistic about the economy in December, a sign that the postelection bump in confidence continues.

The Conference Board said Tuesday its index of consumer confidence rose to 113.7 in December up from a revised 109.4 in November. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected the index to rise to 109.8 in December.

Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board said the surge in optimism was most pronounced in older consumers.

The outlook for the labor market also increased, with 21% saying they expected more jobs in the months ahead, up from 16.1%. Consumers also said they expected to see their incomes increase.

But consumers' assessment of current economic conditions weakened over themonth. The share of those saying business conditions were "good" dipped slightly to 29.2% while the share of those saying they were "bad" rose to 17.3% from 15.2%.

"Looking ahead to 2017, consumers' continued optimism will depend on whether or not their expectations are realized," Mr. Franco said.

Economists follow confidence indicators because upbeat consumers are more likely to increase personal spending, which makes up most of the U.S. economy.

A separate confidence measure, released by the University of Michigan on Dec. 23, found that Americans are more confident in the economy than at any point in nearly 13 years.

Write to David Harrison at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 27, 2016 10:53 ET (15:53 GMT)

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