CONSUMER CONFIDENCE SURGES IN DECEMBER

NEW YORK -- Consumers are ending 2004 on a high note, breaking a four-month slide in the confidence index due to optimism about their income prospects.The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index rose to 102.3 in December, up from 92.6 in November, surpassing the 93.9 consensus projection by Wall Street economists. It had been in decline since August. While the index rebounded in December to its

NEW YORK -- Consumers are ending 2004 on a high note, breaking a four-month slide in the confidence index due to optimism about their income prospects.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index rose to 102.3 in December, up from 92.6 in November, surpassing the 93.9 consensus projection by Wall Street economists. It had been in decline since August. While the index rebounded in December to its highest level in five months, it didn't pass the high reached in July when it was at

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