Consumer Confidence Soars Past Expectations There's good housing news, too By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Sep 25, 2012 10:55 AM CDT 42 comments Comments In this Tuesday, July 10, 2012, photo, shoppers look for merchandise in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) (Newser) – Consumer confidence soared to a seven-month high, flying far above analyst expectations, according to a Conference Board report released today. The board's index came in at 70.3, up from 61.3 a month earlier. That's a whole heck of a lot better than the 63 that the economists Reuters polled had expected. That wasn't the only good economic news on the day either. Home prices increased 1.2% in July compared to a year earlier, according to an S&P/Case Shiller index report. It's the second straight year-over-year increase—after two years without a gain, the AP reports. Prices rose in 16 of the 20 cities surveyed. Hard-hit cities saw especially big gains; Phoenix saw homes shoot up 16.6%.