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Consumer confidence strengthens in August, beating expectations for a drop

  • The Consumer Confidence Index rose to 122.9 in August.
  • Economists surveyed by Reuters expected 120.3, a drop from July.
Seen through the store window, shoppers browse in a Nike store in New York City.
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Seen through the store window, shoppers browse in a Nike store in New York City.

The Consumer Confidence Index rose in August to 122.9, despite expectations of a decline, The Conference Board announced Tuesday.

Economist polled by Reuters expected a decline to 120.3. This better-than-expected result puts consumer confidence at its second best level this year.

"Consumers' more buoyant assessment of present-day conditions was the primary driver of the boost in confidence," the Conference Board's director of economic indicators Lynn Franco said in a statement.

In August, consumers said jobs were even more "plentiful" than last month's report, up to 35.4 percent from 33.2 percent, while also saying jobs were not as "hard to get."

The Consumer Confidence Index beat expectations last month as well.

Consumers found the current environment to be improving. The Conference Board reported those saying business conditions are "good" increased to 34.5 percent from 32.5 percent in the previous month, while the number who assessed business conditions to be "bad" was slightly lower to 13.1 percent from 13.5 percent.

The August short-term outlook largely unchanged, as the percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased to 19.6 percent from 22.4 percent in July.