(AXcess News) Washington – The Conference Board reported that the Consumer Confidence Index rose 11.2 basis points in February to 69.2 compared to 58.4 the prior month. The Board attributed the sharp increase in consumer confidence to fears over the fiscal cliff in Washington and tax increase abating.

The Present Situation Index increased to 63.3 from 56.2,the Conference Board reported,while the Expectations Index soared 13.9 basis points to 73.8 February compared to 59.9 the prior month.

Conference Board Director of Economic Indicators,Lynn Franco,said,”Consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions is more positive than last month. Looking ahead,consumers are cautiously optimistic about the outlook for business and labor market conditions. Income expectations,which had turned rather negative last month,have improved modestly.”

Consumers grew more confident in the U.S. economy in February

Stocks were up modestly following the Consumer Confidence Index report following Monday’s sharp drop.