U.S. consumer confidence rebounded by the most in 17 years in September amid an improvement in labor market views, but it remained below levels that prevailed before the COVID-19 pandemic struck the nation early this year.

The surge in confidence reported by the Conference Board on Tuesday came despite a resurgence in new coronavirus cases in some parts of the country and government help for businesses and the unemployed drying up. Consumers also appeared to shrug off growing uncertainty ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election and signs the economy’s recovery from the recession was slowing.

“While today’s figure is on the face of it a fantastic result, we have to remain a little cautious given the mixed evidence from other sources,” said James Knightley, chief international economist at ING in New York.


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