The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index, which increased sharply in June, posted further gains in July. The index now stands at 106.1 (1985=100), up from 102.8 in June. The expectations index jumped to 105.8 from 100.8. The present situation index edged up to 106.5 from 105.9 in June. "Consumer confidence has now increased for four consecutive months, and is at its highest level since June 2002 when it registered 106.3," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board's Consumer Research Center. "The spring turnaround has been fueled by gains in employment, and unless the job market sours, consumer confidence should continue to post solid numbers." Consumers' assessment of current conditions was somewhat mixed, but favorable overall. Those saying business conditions are "good...
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