The overall level of consumer confidence edged upward in July despite higher gasoline prices and the terrorist bombings in London, according to the latest Survey of Consumers by the University of Michigan. "The highest overall level of consumer confidence was recorded during the past two months since the last economic downturn started nearly five years ago," according to Richard Curtin, the director of the University of Michigan survey. High gas prices did diminish confidence, but these declines were offset by other factors. "High gas prices had a larger impact on the living standards of lower-income households, while upper-income households were more likely to expect other economic gains to overcome the drain of gas prices," Curtin said. The survey data indicated that the London bombings had no direct impact on consumer confidence. Overall, the data indicate that real consumer spending will grow by 3 1/2 percent during the year ahead. The index of consumer sentiment was 96.5 in ...
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