Consumer confidence index up slightly

NEW YORK, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- U.S. consumer confidence rose slightly in August, the Conference Board said Tuesday.

After a slight drop in July that followed three months of gains, the index rose in August from 81 to 81.5, the research firm said.


The index is a comparison from 1985, which was assigned the value of 100.

In July, the Conference Board's Present Situation Index fell from 73.6 to 70.7, while the Expectations Index rose from 86 to 88.7.

"Consumer Confidence increased slightly in August, a result of improving short-term expectations. Consumers were moderately more upbeat about business, job and earnings prospects. In fact, income expectations, which had declined sharply earlier this year with the payroll tax hike, have rebounded to their highest level in 2 1/2 years," Director of Economic Indicators for the Conference Board Lynn Franco said.

"Consumers' assessment of current business and labor market conditions, on the other hand, was somewhat less favorable than last month," she said.

The Conference Board said appraisal of current conditions "moderately declined."

In the July survey that involved more than 5,000 households, the percent of respondents who indicated they believe business conditions were "good" dropped from 20.8 percent to 18.4 percent.


Responses indicating a belief that business conditions were "bad" was unchanged at 24.8 percent.

The percentage of respondents indicating jobs were "plentiful," fell from 12.3 percent to 11.4 percent while those indicating jobs were difficult to get declined from 35.2 percent to 33 percent.

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