Consumer confidence up in July

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Consumer confidence improved slightly in July after a drop in June, according to a report from The Conference Board.

The index now stands at 59.5, up from 57.6 in June. The Present Situation Index decreased to 35.7 from 36.6. The Expectations Index rose to 75.4 from 71.6 last month.

“Consumer confidence posted a modest gain in July, the result of an improvement in consumers’ short-term outlook,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center.

“Consumers’ appraisal of current business and employment conditions, however, was less favorable as concerns about the labor market continue to weigh on consumers’ attitudes,” Franco added. “Overall, consumers remain apprehensive about the future, but some of the concern expressed last month has abated.”

Consumers' assessment of current-day conditions weakened further in July. Those stating business conditions are “good” decreased to 13.4 percent from 13.7 percent, while those claiming business conditions are “bad” increased to 39 percent from 38.4 percent.

Consumers’ appraisal of the job market was also less favorable. Those claiming jobs are “hard to get” increased to 44.1 percent from 43.2 percent, while those stating jobs are “plentiful” remained unchanged at 5.1 percent.

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