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U.S. consumer confidence rises

Staff writer |
U.S. consumer confidence, which reached the highest level since October 2007 in July, improved further in August, the New York-based research group Conference Board said.

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The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index climbed to 92.4 in August from 90.3 in July, beating market expectations.

"Consumer confidence increased for the fourth consecutive month as improving business conditions and robust job growth helped boost consumers' spirits," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board.

According to the report, the Present Situation Index increased to 94.6 in August from 87.9 in July, while the Expectations Index slipped to 87.9 from 94.6.

"Looking ahead, consumers were marginally less optimistic about the short-term outlook compared to July, primarily due to concerns about their earnings. Overall, however, they remain quite positive about the short-term outlooks for the economy and labor market."

Moreover, consumers' assessment of the job market was also more positive. Those stating jobs are "plentiful" increased to 18.2 percent from 15.6 percent, while those claiming jobs are "hard to get" declined marginally to 30.6 percent from 30.9 percent.

The monthly consumer confidence survey is conducted for the Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics, and is based on 5,000 households across the country.