Consumer confidence at highest level in almost 18 years

Consumer confidence at highest level in almost 18 years
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Consumer confidence rose to its highest level in almost 18 years in September, according to data released Tuesday.

The Conference Board's consumer confidence index defied analyst expectations, rising to 138.4 this month, according to results from the business research nonprofit. The index was up from 134.7 in August. 

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"Consumers' assessment of current conditions remains extremely favorable, bolstered by a strong economy and robust job growth," Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, told CNBC. "These historically high confidence levels should continue to support healthy consumer spending, and should be welcome news for retailers as they begin gearing up for the holiday season."

The Index reached an all-time high in 2000 with 144.7. The result is a measurement of feelings on current economic conditions and prospects for the next six months, also considering business and labor markets

Confidence has risen over the past two years amid economic growth and low unemployment.