August 25, 2009

Consumer confidence index rises

The monthly U.S. Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had retreated in July, rebounded in August, researchers said.

In a release Tuesday, the Conference Board Consumer Research Center said the Index stood at 54.1 (with 1985 levels equaling 100), up from 47.4 in July, while the Present Situation Index increased slightly to 24.9 from 23.3 last month.

The researchers said 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, the center's director. 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).

Franco said consumers were more upbeat in their assessment of the short-term outlooks for the economy and the job market.

Some 5,000 U.S. households were surveyed for the index, the researchers said.