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Consumer confidence up again this month, jobs outlook mixed

August 29, 2017

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index increased in August after a moderate improvement in July. The index rose to a reading of 122.9 (1985=100), up from 120.0 in July.

“Consumers’ more buoyant assessment of present-day conditions was the primary driver of the boost in confidence,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ short-term expectations were relatively flat, though still optimistic, suggesting that they do not anticipate an acceleration in the pace of economic activity in the months ahead.”

Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was more upbeat but their outlook was mixed. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead fell to 17.1% in August from 18.5% in July, while those anticipating fewer jobs edged down to 13.0% from 13.2%. The number of consumers stating that jobs were “plentiful” rose to 35.4% in August from 33.2% in July while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” fell to 17.3% from 18.7%.

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