Economic Report: Consumer confidence jumps to five-month high thanks to falling gas prices


The numbers: Americans feel a lot better because of falling gas prices: A survey of U.S. consumer confidence jumped to a five-month high of 108 in September.

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast the index to rise to 104.5 from a revised 103.6 in the prior month.

Big picture: Falling gas prices have eased the anxieties of Americans feeling the pain of high inflation. But now rising interest rates are increasing their borrowing costs for houses, new cars and other big-ticket items.

Higher rates raise usually slow the economy and an increasing number of economists think another recession is likely by next year.

The Federal Reserve is raising rates sharply to to try to tame the highest inflation in 40 years.

Key details: A measure of how consumers feel about the economy right now rose to 149.6 in September from 145.3 in the prior month, the nonprofit Conference Board said Tuesday.

A similar confidence gauge that looks ahead six months climbed to 80.3 from 75.8 — the highest level in seven months.

Market reaction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.62% and S&P 500 SPX, +0.84% rose in Tuesday trades, going against the tide of a series of sharp declines.

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