Consumer Confidence Climbs as U.S. Job Market Improves: Economy - Bloomberg Consumer confidence climbed last week to the highest level in four years and unemployment claims fell, pointing to a brighter job market that may invigorate the U.S. economy. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index (COMFCOMF) rose to minus 31.4 in the period ended April 1, the best reading since March 2008, from minus 34.7 the prior week. Filings for jobless benefits dropped by 6,000 to 357,000 in the week ended March 31, the fewest since April 2008, the Labor Department said. Employers probably took on more than 700,000 workers in the first three months of this year, the best quarter for job growth since 2006, a report tomorrow may show, while equities rallied the most since 1998. The improvements may support consumer spending in the face of rising gasoline prices.