Consumer confidence hits 4-year high, survey shows

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U.S. consumer confidence rose in October to its highest in more than four years, according to a private sector report released on Thursday. 

The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes gained to 72.2 from a downwardly revised 68.4 in September. It was the highest level since February 2008, though it came in shy of economists' estimates for 72.5. 

September was originally reported as 70.3

The survey was another piece of evidence that the recovery, while not robust, is at least picking up a little steam. Weekly jobless claims fell more than expected in the latest week, the Labor Department reported Thursday. And a survey of private sector hiring that's seen as a preview for the monthly jobs data Friday, showed that U.S. companies created 158,000 jobs in October.

Non-farm payrolls are forecast to have risen 124,000 last month, barely more than September's 114,000 gain, according to economists polled by Reuters. The so-called headline jobless rate is expected to edge up to 7.9 percent in October, after it dropped to 7.8 percent in September from 8.1 percent in August.