Consumer confidence increases for the first time in three months

The measure of expectations for six months down the road, which more closely projects where consumer spending is headed, climbed to 62.7 from 61.9 in October. 

The measure of current conditions, which provides a look at consumers' perceptions of their financial situation and whether it is a good time to buy big-ticket items like cars, rose to 79.7 from 76.6 in October.

Although the economy is still only showing slow improvement, the average number of workers filing initial claims for jobless benefits over the past four weeks dropped to the lowest level in two years, the Labor Department said this week. 

In October, payrolls added 151,000 jobs, with private-sector employers adding 159,000 workers.