Consumer Confidence Hits Four-Year High

Consumer confidence in the third and fourth week in February reached its highest level since April 2008, according to the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index.

February also saw the third straight week the index was above minus 40, the level associated with recessions and their aftermath.

At least half the respondents viewed their personal finances as positive, another measure that hasn’t been seen in four years.

Other consumer confidence measurement indexes reported similar good news.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence index now stands at 70.8, a dramatic jump from the 61.5 recorded in January, and the highest reading since February 2011.

“Despite further increases in gas prices, [consumers] are more optimistic about the short-term outlook for the economy, job prospects, and their financial situation,” said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center, in a statement.    

Another survey last month found small businesses the most optimistic they have been since July 2008