The Conference Board today announced that its consumer confidence index, which had declined in July, bounced back in August. The index now stands at 105.6, up from 103.6 in July. The present situation index increased to 123.6 from 119.3. The expectations index edged up to 93.7 from 93.2 last month. "Consumers appear to be weathering the steady rise in gas prices quite well," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board's Consumer Research Center. "In fact, consumers' confidence in the current state of the economy, and particularly in the labor market, has propelled the present situation index to its highest level in nearly four years (125.4 in September 2001). Expectations continue to suggest more of the same for the remainder of this year." Consumers' overall assessment of ongoing conditions was considerably more favorable in August. Those claiming business conditions are "good" increased to 29.8 percent from 28.7 percent. Those claiming conditions are "bad" slipped to 15...
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