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Consumer Confidence Improves In August

New York – The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index,

had declined in July, improved moderately in August.

The Index now stands at 53.5, up from 51 in July. The
Present Situation Index decreased to 24.9 from 26.4. The Expectations Index
increased to 72.5 from 67.5 last month.

Franco, The Conference Board Consumer Research Center director, said in a
statement, “Consumer confidence posted a modest gain in August, the result of
an improvement in consumers’ short-term outlook.  Consumers’ assessment of
current conditions, however, was less favorable as employment concerns continue
to weigh heavily on consumers’ attitudes. Expectations about future business
and labor market conditions have brightened somewhat, but overall, consumers
remain apprehensive about the future.  All in all, consumers are about as
confident today as they were a year ago (Aug. 2009, 54.5).”

appraisal of current conditions continued to weaken in August. Those claiming
business conditions are “good” decreased to 8.7 percent from 8.8 percent.
However, those stating business conditions are “bad” declined to 41.9 percent
from 43.3 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market deteriorated
further. Those saying jobs are “hard to get” increased to 45.7 percent from
45.1 percent, while those claiming jobs are “plentiful” declined to 3.8 percent
from 4.4 percent.

expectations improved moderately in August, but, overall, they remain
pessimistic. Those anticipating an improvement in business conditions over the
next six months increased to 17 percent from 15.8 percent, while those
anticipating conditions will worsen declined to 13.4 percent from 15.3 percent.

Confidence Survey

is based on a representative
sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted for The
Conference Board by TNS. The cutoff date for August’s preliminary results was
August 24.