Consumer confidence jumps up

The index’s latest finding is the latest piece of positive economic news for the president, who is locked in a nip-and-tuck battle with GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

Last Friday, the Labor Department announced that the economy had added a modest 114,000 jobs in August, but that the unemployment rate had also dropped to 7.8 percent, the lowest since Obama took office. 

Obama and Romney have both made the economy and the current recovery a central point of their campaign. The president has defended his economic record, saying his administration helped pull the country out of its worst period since the Great Depression.

But Romney has said that his private-sector experience would leave him better equipped to jump-start an economy that saw growth slow to 1.3 percent in this year’s second quarter, according to government data. 

Analysts had expected the index to come in at around 78, which would have been a slight decline from September’s 78.3.