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Fannie Mae survey shows more confident consumers

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More Americans interviewed by Fannie Mae for its national housing survey are optimistic about their financial prospects and the housing market in the coming year. Most respondents believe home prices will edge up at least 0.8% over the next 12 months. That is up from predictions of a 0.2% increase in November. About 40% of those surveyed expect their financial situations to improve in 2012 and another 39% said their situation will remain the same. More than one-fifth of respondents said their income is now significantly higher than it was a year ago, while 59% said their income has not changed. "December attitudes have rebounded from the lows seen during the debt ceiling debate and economic deterioration of Europe this past summer," said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae chief economist. "There is marked improvement in consumer sentiment regarding the direction of the economy, personal finances, and future home price expectations." Duncan suggested the increase in optimistic Americans is tempered by overall consumer attitudes that remain at depressed levels with more than two-thirds of those interviewed saying the economy is heading down the wrong track. Write to Kerri Panchuk.

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