Consumer confidence increases in July

After four months of declining numbers, the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index improved in July to 65.9, up from 62.7 in June.

A year ago, the July 2011 Consumer Confidence Index stood at 59.2.

"Despite this month's improvement in confidence, the overall Index remains at historically low levels,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators. “Consumers' attitude regarding current conditions was little changed in July, but their short-term expectations, which had declined last month, bounced back. However, while consumers expressed greater optimism about short-term business and employment prospects, they have grown more pessimistic about their earnings. Given the current economic environment -- in particular the weak labor market -- consumer confidence is not likely to gain any significant momentum in the coming months."

Consumers' appraisal of current conditions eased in July. Those claiming business conditions are "good" declined to 13.8% from 14.2%, while those saying business conditions are "bad" decreased to 34.2% from 35.9%.

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