U.S. home prices rose 13 percent over last year
by one economic measure published today and a separate measure of consumer
confidence rose more than expected.
Although the S&P/Case-Shiller index of
home prices in 20 U.S. cities was just about what economists predicted, it
nevertheless is the largest annual jump since 2006, according to Bloomberg.
Also reported today, the Consumer Board's index of consumer confidence rose to
78 from 72 in November, which was more than economists predicted.
"Consumers seem more upbeat," said Omair Sharif, a senior economist
at RBS Securities Inc. in Stamford, Conn. "The combination of a better
labor market and low inflation is helping purchasing power. We've moved past
concerns associated with the government shutdown."