U.S. Consumer Confidence Rebounds in August

Consumers were more upbeat in their short-term outlook for both the economy and the job market

Consumer confidence rose more than expected in August after two consecutive months of declines, buoyed by a jump in recovery hopes for the coming months, the Conference Board said on August 25.

The business research firm said its consumer confidence index climbed to 54.1 in August from an upwardly revised 47.4 in July. The rebound in confidence was stronger than the 47.9 reading that most analysts had expected.

The index had hit an eight-month peak of 54.8 in May.

"Consumer confidence, which had posted back-to-back monthly declines, appears to be back on the mend," said Lynn Franco, research director at the Conference Board.

The present situation index increased slightly, mainly due to consumers' assessment of the job market.

The expectations index improved sharply, to its highest level since December 2007.

"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. And, as long as earnings continue to weigh heavily on consumers' minds, spending is likely to remain constrained," the Conference Board said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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