FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - US consumers are increasingly confident about the economy, according to the most recent Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index, which gave a score of 72.5 for the month of December, up from 67.4 in November.

The preliminary mid-month index had registered a slightly higher score of 73.4, but the end-of-the-month result shows a continuing upward swing in consumer confidence since October.

Consumers have become increasingly willing to spend money in the run-up to Christmas mainly thanks to widespread price discounting by merchants hoping to make good on the holiday season in addition to somewhat more positive expectations for economic growth and employment by consumers, according to the authors of the report.

The index also found that while personal finances of 49% of those polled are in a negative situation, nevertheless this is the lowest percentage registered since September, 2008.

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