The New York-based Conference Board says Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index stands at 69.6, up from a revised 58.4 in January. Economists had expected 60.5, according to research firm FactSet.
It was the highest reading since November's 71.5. Confidence has fallen since then as shoppers were worried about growing economic uncertainty.
The consumer confidence indicator is watched closely because consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of U.S. economic activity. The figure is still well below the 90 reading that indicates a healthy economy.