U.S. consumer confidence rises in July

Consumer confidence increased in July as strong job growth led to consumers being more optimistic regarding the economy and jobs, according to The Conference Board.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index rose to 90.9 in July from 86.4 in June. A reading of 90 or higher indicates a healthy economy.

The index measures how shoppers feel about business conditions, the job market and the next six months. Economists watch the index closely because consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity and is a crucial part of a strong rebound.

Those expecting business conditions to improve during the next six months increased to 20.2 percent from 18.4 percent, and those expecting business conditions to worsen held steady at 11.5 percent.

Additionally, 19.1 percent expect more jobs during the next six months compared with 16.3 percent in June. Those expecting fewer jobs decreased from 18.4 percent to 16.4 percent.

"Consumer confidence increased for the third consecutive month and is now at its highest level since October 2007," says Lynn Franco, The Conference Board's director of economic indicators. "Strong job growth helped boost consumers' assessment of current conditions, while brighter short-term outlooks for the economy and jobs, and to a lesser extent personal income, drove the gain in expectations. Recent improvements in consumer confidence, in particular expectations, suggest the recent strengthening in growth is likely to continue into the second half of this year."

Date : 8/1/2014