Consumer confidence improves with brighter jobs outlook

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Consumer confidence improves with brighter jobs outlook

Last month's index was downwardly revised from 118.9 to 117.3.

Consumer confidence in the US unexpectedly improved in the month of July, according to a report released by the Conference Board on Tuesday.

There was a less favourable trend in expectations of income prospects with a small decline in the number of respondents expecting an improvement in incomes over the next 6 months.

A four-month high in USA consumer confidence reflects Americans' sunnier views on both their current situation and outlook, a positive sign for the economy, data from the New York-based Conference Board showed Tuesday.

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said in her congressional testimony earlier this month that she has "a reasonable level of confidence that the expansion can continue" and that with respect to consumer debt, "households are generally in a stronger position".

Still, consumer confidence was buoyed by an improving labor market.

Consumers felt slightly more positive about the current situation, with the share of those saying business conditions were "good" rising 2.7 points to 33.3 per cent. The share of those who called conditions "bad" held steady at 13.5 percent. Those who said jobs are "hard to get" fell four-tenths of a point to 18 percent.

Economists follow these surveys on the basis that an increase in optimism should translate into increased consumer spending.

Survey respondents were also more optimistic about the short-term, with the percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve in the next six months rising 2.8 points to 22.9 per cent. Income expectations dipped, as 20.0% of consumers expected their incomes to increase in coming months, down from 20.9% in June.

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