Consumer confidence spiked in November after six straight months of decline, according to The Conference Board. The monthly index improved to 56 from a recession-like reading of 40.9 in October, with the November index approaching values last seen in July. “Consumers’ apprehension regarding the short-term outlook for business conditions, jobs and income prospects eased considerably,” Board Director Lynn Franco said in a release. “Consumers appear to be entering the holiday season in better spirits, though overall readings remain historically weak.” Present-day conditions, while improved from October, remained largely negative in November. Those surveyed who said business conditions are “good” improved to 13.3% from 11.2%, and those who gave a response of “bad” declined to 38.2% from 43.7%. Job outlook improved as well, as expectation for more jobs by survey participants increased to 12.9% from 10.8% in October, while those who said they expected fewer openings declined to 24.1% from 27.6%. The index is a random sample completed for the board by market research firm Nielsen. A 100 score refers to 1985 levels. The cutoff date for this month’s results was Nov. 15. Write to Andrew Scoggin. Follow him on Twitter @ascoggin.

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