Confidence among American consumers surged to an 18-year high in October amid optimism about the outlook for both jobs and the broader economy, according to figures released Tuesday (Oct. 30) by the Conference Board.

The Street reported that the Conference Board said its consumer confidence index rose to 137.9 in October from a downwardly revised 135.3 in September. Economists had expected the index to drop to 136.3 from the 138.4 originally reported for the previous month. It’s the highest level for the index since reaching 142.5 in September 2000.

The figures confirm that one of the strongest job markets in U.S. history is propelling household confidence as well as Americans’ purchases, which account for about 70% of economic growth. They also bode well for the crucial upcoming holiday shopping season.

“Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions remains quite positive, primarily due to strong employment growth,” Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the New York-based Conference Board, said in a statement.

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