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Consumers regain some confidence in August


New York City Consumers felt a little more confidence in August, according to the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index. The Index, which had retreated in July, rebounded in August, and now stands at 54.1, up from 47.4 in July.

The Present Situation Index increased slightly to 24.9 from 23.3 last month. The Expectations Index improved to 73.5 from 63.4 in July.

“Consumer confidence, which had posted back-to-back monthly declines, appears to be back on the mend,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. “The Present Situation Index increased slightly, mainly the result of an improvement in consumers' assessment of the job market. The Expectations Index improved considerably and is now at its highest level since December 2007 (Index, 75.8).”

Consumers were more upbeat in their short-term outlook for both the economy and the job market in August, but only slightly more upbeat in their income expectations, according to Franco.

“And, as long as earnings continue to weigh heavily on consumers' minds, spending is likely to remain constrained,” he added.

Consumers' short-term outlook was much improved from last month. Those expecting an improvement in business conditions over the next six months increased to 22.4% from 18.4%. Those anticipating conditions to worsen decreased to 15.8% from 19.0%.

The labor market outlook was also more upbeat. The percentage of consumers expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased to 18.4% from 15.5%, while those expecting fewer jobs decreased to 23.3% from 26.1%.

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