U.S. consumer confidence edged higher in November after an unexpected drop in October, with less consumers expressing doubt about the a worsening jobs market, according to a report released on Tuesday.
The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes increased slightly to 49.5 in November from 48.7 in October.
Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a reading of 47.7, matching the previous month's figure.
The present situation component of the survey dipped to 21.0 in November from 21.1 the prior month -- its lowest reading in 26 years.
The moderate improvement in the short term outlook was the result of a decrease in the percent of consumers expecting business and labor market conditions to worsen, as opposed to an increase in the percent of consumers expecting conditions to improve, said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, in a release.
More Americans surveyed said jobs were hard to get in November, with that gauge rising to 49.8 percent from 49.4 percent in October. Those claiming jobs were plentiful fell to 3.2 percent from 3.5 percent last month.
Income expectations remain very pessimistic and consumers are entering the holiday season in a frugal mood, Franco said.
(Reporting by Tom Ryan; Editing by Kenneth Barry)