Consumer confidence rose for the third straight month in January to the highest since September 2008, driven mostly by an improvement in present-day conditions, according to a private report released on Tuesday.

The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes rose to 55.9 in January from an upwardly revised 53.6 in December.

The median of forecasts from analysts polled by Reuters was for a January reading of 53.5. Forecasts ranged from 50.0 to 57.0.

The December reading was revised up from an original 52.9.

The expectations index rose to 76.5, the highest since October 2007, from December's upwardly revised 75.9.

The present situation index rose to 25.0, the highest since August, from 20.2 in December.

Consumers' labor market assessment improved somewhat, but remained fairly dire. The jobs hard to get index eased to 47.4 from 48.1, while the jobs plentiful index rose to 4.3 in January from 3.1 in December.

(Reporting by Chris Reese: )