US consumer confidence rose to an eight-month high in December as declining gas prices and easing inflation contributed to more optimistic views of economy. However, spending plans were mixed. Vacation intentions improved, while the intention to buy homes and big-ticket appliances cooled further due to elevated mortgage rates. This shift in consumer preference from goods to services is likely to continue in 2023. The Consumer Confidence Index, reported by the Conference Board, increased 6.9 points from 101.4 to 108.3 in December, the highest level since April 2022. The Present Situation Index rose 8.9 points from 138.3 to 147.2, and the Expectation Situation Index climbed 5.7 points from 76.7 to 82.43, the highest since February 2022. However, it’s still lingering around 80 – a level associated with a recession. …The share of respondents planning to buy a newly constructed home marginally increased to 0.9%, while for those who planning to buy an existing home declined to 2.5%.