Although the Conference Board today reported that its Consumer Confidence Index for July inched higher for the second consecutive month, sentiment about current and future economic conditions remains quite mixed. The index now stands at 106.5, up from 105.4 in June. The present situation index rose to 133 from 132.2. The expectations index edged up to 88.8 from 87.5 last month. "Consumer confidence continues to hold steady, with the prognosis little changed from last month," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "Present-day conditions remain favorable, though not as strong as earlier this year. Expectations for the months ahead remain cautious and also below levels earlier this year." Consumers' overall assessment of current conditions held steady in July, The Conference Board reported. Consumers claiming conditions are "good" increased to 27.6 percent from 26.6 percent. However, those claiming conditions are "bad" also increased to 15.5 per...
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