The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index continued its upward climb in December but its Present Situation Index fell.

The Consumer Confidence Index inched up to 52.9 in December from 50.6 in November and the Expectations Index jumped to 75.6 from 70.3 the previous month.

But the Present Situation Index fell to 18.8 from 21.2 in November.

"A more optimistic outlook for business and labor market conditions was the driving force behind the increase in the Expectations Index.

Regarding income, however, consumers remain rather pessimistic about their short-term prospects and this will likely continue to play a key role in spending decisions in early 2010," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center.

According to Franco, while the Present Situation Index is at a 26-year low, expectations for the short-term future have reached the highest level in two years.

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