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Consumer Confidence Up, But Still Shaken

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index increased in August after declining in July. The index now measures 53.5, up from 51 in July.

"Consumer confidence posted a modest gain in August, the result of an improvement in consumers' short-term outlook," said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "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."

Consumers' opinions on current economic conditions worsened in August. Only 8.7 percent said business conditions were good, down from 8.8 percent in July. And 45.7 percent said jobs were hard to get, up from 45.1 percent.

Consumer expectations improved, but they remained pessimistic overall. Seventeen percent expected business conditions to improve in the coming six months, up from 15.8 percent in July.

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