ECONOMY

US consumer confidence jumps to 7 ½-year high in January on growing optimism about job market

FILE - In this Dec. 26, 2014 file photo, customers shop at Nordstrom Rack in Schaumburg, Ill. The Conference Board releases the Consumer Confidence Index for January on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

FILE - In this Dec. 26, 2014 file photo, customers shop at Nordstrom Rack in Schaumburg, Ill. The Conference Board releases the Consumer Confidence Index for January on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)  (The Associated Press)

U.S. consumer confidence shot up in January to the highest level since August 2007.

The Conference Board reports that its consumer confidence index climbed to 102.9 this month from a revised 93.1 in December.

Americans are feeling better about current economic conditions, including the job market. They are also more optimistic about business conditions over the next six months.

Consumer confidence has been rising as the economy improves. Employers added nearly 3 million jobs last year, most since 1999. The unemployment rate last month tumbled to a 6-year low of 5.6 percent.

The economy grew from July through September at a 5 percent annual rate, fastest in 11 years.

Adding to improving spirits: Gas prices have plunged to $2.04 a gallon Tuesday from $2.32 a gallon a month ago, according to AAA.