Americans are feeling more confident about the U.S. economy, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

December marks the most positive month for consumer attitudes since June before worries of Europe’s mounting debt crisis and political debates about the debt ceiling, however confidence still remains low compared to levels seen from January through March, according to a Gallup poll.

The index reading of -38 is around 10 percentage points lower than what the poll found for the past two Decembers which averaged to be -28 in 2010 and -27 in 2009, but this year’s index for December is 21 points higher than December 2008 when the reading was at -59.

American perceptions of current economic conditions and economic outlook have both improved compared to last month when the index was at -45, according to the poll.

The index is derived from the average of two parts of consumers’ psychology: The nation’s ratings for current economic conditions and Americans’ perceptions of whether the economy will be better or worse. The index has a maximum of +100, if all Americans say the economy is excellent and improving, and a minimum of -100 when all Americans see the economy as poor or deteriorating.

The index for December 2011 is also the largest monthly increase in economic confidence reported since May, and Gallup said that these gains of increased public optimism may be a sign of further confidence improvements to come in 2012.