U.S. consumer confidence rises in August

Consumer confidence increased in August as strong job growth and business conditions 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 92.4 in August from 90.3 in July. 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 critical part of a strong rebound.

Those expecting business conditions to improve during the next six months held steady at 20.4 percent, and those expecting business conditions to worsen fell to 10.2 percent from 12.1 percent.

Additionally, 17 percent expect more jobs during the next six months compared with 18.7 percent in July. Those expecting fewer jobs decreased from 16.6 percent to 15.8 percent.

"Consumer confidence increased for the fourth consecutive month as improving business conditions and robust job growth helped boost consumers' spirits," says Lynn Franco, The Conference Board's director of economic indicators. "Looking ahead, consumers were marginally less optimistic about the short-term outlook compared to July, primarily due to concerns about their earnings. Overall, however, they remain quite positive about the short-term outlooks for the economy and labor market."

Date : 9/4/2014