Improved feelings about the state of the American economy helped drive U.S. consumer confidence to a seven-year highpoint in August, a private-sector report revealed. The Conference Board’s index of consumer attitudes for this month increased to 92.4. That’s the best reading since October of 2007 and up from July’s downwardly revised 90.3. The August score beat the expectations of most economists who had predicted a reading around 89.
“Consumer confidence increased for the fourth consecutive month as improving business conditions and robust job growth helped boost consumers’ spirits,” Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, said in a statement.
In August, consumers’ view of the labor market brightened considerably, the Conference Board reported. More than 18% of respondents said jobs are plentiful, up from 15.6% last month. Meanwhile, the “jobs are hard to get” index dropped from 30.9% to 30.6%. American consumers’ assessment of the current economic climate improved too, with the present situation index rising from 87.9 to 94.6, the best showing since February of 2008. Still, those positive sentiments were tempered slightly by the fact that the expectations index dipped slightly to 90.9 from 91.9.