Conference Board: U.S. consumer confidence hits near 7-year high

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

New York, NY, United States (4E) – Confidence by U.S. consumers surprisingly increased to a near seven-year high in August, according to data from a private research group released Tuesday, an indication of improved outlook for the last six months of 2014.

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index climbed to 92.4 in August, compared with a revised 90.3 reading in July that was initially reported as 90.9.

Estimates of 71 economists polled by Bloomberg News ranged from 85 to 94. The measure averaged 96.8 during the prior expansion and 53.7 during the recession that lasted 18 months until June 2009.

The present situation index, which gauges consumers’ assessment of the current economic situation, rose to 94.6 from a revised July reading of 87.9, initially forecast at 88.3.

Meanwhile, economic activity expectations over the next six months declined to 90.9 after that measure increased to a revised reading of 91.9 in July from 86.4 in the prior month. The expectations index for July was initially set at 92.7.

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