Consumer confidence is on the rebound.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased to 78.1 in December from 72.0 in November, the Conference Board said.

The monthly consumer confidence survey looks at what consumers buy and watch.

Confidence "is now close to pre-government shutdown levels," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board. The index measured 80.2 in September.

Consumers' feelings about current conditions increased to a more than five-year high thanks to perceptions of more favorable economic and labor market conditions. Consumers also have a greater degree of confidence in the future regarding the economy and job prospects, but they are more pessimistic about their earnings prospects, the conference board reported.

"Despite the many challenges throughout 2013, consumers are in better spirits today than when the year began," Franco said in a statement.

lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com