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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Early December consumer sentiment surges

The early measure of consumer sentiment in December showed a surprise surge, well besting expectations.

According to the Reuters/University of Michigan index, consumer sentiment jumped from 67.4 in November to 73.4 in early December.

This beat the December expectation of 68.8.

The number is nearly at its highest level since January 2008.

The index is broken down into two components -- how consumers feel about the current conditions and how optimistic they think they'll be in six months.

The current conditions component of the index popped from 68.8 in November to 79.1 in early December.

The future outlook component rose only from 66.5 in November to 69.7 in early December, telegraphing some long-term trepidation about the economy.

But right now, it's all about Christmas spending and people want to feel good around the holidays. Remember: Last December, sentiment jumped five points from November to December. And this was as the stock market was continuing to drop. Christmas just makes people feel better -- or try to forget about their troubles for a little while.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  December 11, 2009; 10:17 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: consumer confidence  
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"At Christiana Campbell's Tavern, Mistress Campbell, who has run the place since the death of her husband, confides to us during her holiday tea that she has had to rely on smugglers since the ban on drinking the taxed British tea.

She is plump and cheerful despite the tense times and offers a toast (explaining that a bit of toast was actually dropped in a glass before speaking and drinking) "to all that we have to be thankful for."",0,4694492.story

Christmas can be a struggle, so at times you need to smuggle or snuggle. Be thankful for...

Posted by: Dermitt | December 11, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

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