Public Optimistic About Economy
NEW YORK – Americans felt better about the economy in August, as a barometer of sentiment posted the biggest boost in two years amid falling gas prices. Two reports suggested that a bottom could be nearing for the housing market, but economists caution it’s too early to proclaim that the worst is over.
The Conference Board, a private research group, said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index rose to 56.9, up from a revised 51.9 in July. That’s the largest gain since August 2006, and is ahead of the 53 expected by economists surveyed by Thomson/IFR.
It’s also the second month in a row that sentiment improved, after a six-month slide since January – but it remains about half what it was a year ago, and worries about the job market persisted.
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