The consumer confidence index increased to 122.9 in August from a revised 120.0 last month, The Conference Board reported Tuesday.
The July index was originally reported as 121.1.
Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted a 120.8 reading for the index.
The present situation index rose to 151.2 from a revised 145.3, first reported as 147.8, while the expectations index grew to 104.0 from a revised 103.0, first reported as 103.3.
“Consumer confidence increased in August following a moderate improvement in July,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators for The Conference Board. “Consumers’ more buoyant assessment of present-day conditions was the primary driver of the boost in confidence, with the Present Situation Index continuing to hover at a 16-year high (July 2001, 151.3). Consumers’ short-term expectations were relatively flat, though still optimistic, suggesting that they do not anticipate an acceleration in the pace of economic activity in the months ahead.”
Business conditions were called “good” by 34.5% of respondents in August, up from 32.5% of respondents in July. Those saying conditions are “bad” fell to 13.1% from 13.5%.
The percentage of consumers expecting a pickup in business conditions in the next half year fell to 19.6% from 22.4%, while 7.3% said they expect conditions to worsen, down from 8.4% in the prior month.
On the jobs front, those who believe jobs are “plentiful” rose to 35.4% from 33.2% in last month, while the number saying jobs are “hard to get” fell to 17.3% from 18.7%. The respondents who see fewer jobs becoming available in a half year, slid to 13.0% from 13.2%. Those expecting more jobs to become available dropped to 17.1% from 18.5%, The Conference Board reported.
The consumer confidence survey is based on a probability design random sample by the Nielsen Company.