The University of Michigan’s closely watched index of US consumer confidence edged up again in November, the second monthly increase in a row.

Following a swift fall in September, the index bounced back slightly in October to 82.7 [WAMN: 29-Oct-01], before a higher-than-expected jump this month to 83.9.

Allied with figures from the Labor Department showing that new unemployment benefit claims sank to their lowest weekly level since September 11, the news raised hopes that America’s economy will pull itself out of the current slump sooner rather than later.

However, the University of Michigan’s index is still well down on the peak of 112 recorded in early 2000.

News source: BBC Online Business News (UK)