Consumer confidence improved in December to its best level in six months and its second highest level since the start of 2008. The gain was due to improved employment expectations that made consumers more willing to spend and adopt more favorable prospects for the overall economy. Lessening job uncertainty pushed buying plans for household durables up to their highest level in three years. Nonetheless, consumers’ views of their financial situations have remained quite negative due to the widespread expectation of stagnant incomes.Personal Finances Remain Dismal: The current state of consumers’ financial situations remains grim. Just 23% reported recent gains in their finances, unchanged from last December, as twice as many consumers reported income declines as income advances. The majority of consumers anticipated no income increases during the year ahead, as they have for a record 24 consecutive months.