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Aug. consumer confidence highest since 2007
NEW YORK (8/27/14)--Experiencing its fourth consecutive monthly increase, the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index for August hit its highest mark since October 2007.
The index rose 2.1 points to 92.4 from a revised 90.3 in July. The present situation index increased to 94.6 from 87.9, while the expectations index edged down to 90.9 from 91.9 in July.
"Consumer confidence increased for the fourth consecutive month as improving business conditions and robust job growth helped boost consumers' spirits," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board.
"Looking ahead, consumers were marginally less optimistic about the short-term outlook compared to July, primarily due to concerns about their earnings," Franco said, adding, "Overall, however, they remain quite positive about the short-term outlooks for the economy and labor market."
Consumers' assessment of the job market was more positive, with an increase to 18.2% from 15.6% of those stating jobs are "plentiful."  Respondents claiming jobs are "hard to get" declined marginally to 30.6% from 30.9%.
"Aside from the glowing review offered by consumers of the job market, the share of negative responses is trending at recovery lows in nearly every survey segment," noted Moody's analysts ( Aug. 26). "Fewer consumers think business conditions are bad, and few think they will get worse."
Despite a relatively bright path ahead, consumers are giving a chilly reception to the idea of purchasing homes, major appliances or a car within the next six months. Moody's noted that a "huge upswing in consumer spending" shouldn't be expected.

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