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Consumer confidence up slightly in August

Consumer confidence was up slightly from July's upwardly revised score of 81.0 to 81.5 in August, though it still fell below June's revised score of 82.1 (up dramatically from 74.3 in May).

According to The Conference Board, the Present Situation Index dipped to 70.7 from 73.6, and the Expectations Index remained fairly positive at 88.7 (up from 86.0 in July).

"Consumer Confidence increased slightly in August, a result of improving short-term expectations," said director of economic indicators Lynn Franco. "Consumers were moderately more upbeat about business, job and earning prospects. In fact, income expectations, which had declined sharply earlier this year with the payroll tax hike, have rebounded to their highest level in two and a half years. Consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions, on the other hand, was somewhat less favorable than last month.”

As for business conditions, those with a favorable assessment declined to 18.4% from July's 20.8% (the number of respondents viewing them as "bad" remained stable). Similarly, upbeat sentiment toward "plentiful" jobs decreased to 11.4% from 12.3%, though 2.2% fewer people said jobs were hard to get.

Prospects for the future were hopeful, with more people expecting improved business conditions in the near future and fewer expecting them to worsen. Outlook for the labor market was similarly positive, with more people expecting more jobs to be posted and more anticipating a raise in their incomes.

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