The consumer confidence index rose to 59.5 in July from a downwardly revised 57.6 last month, the Conference Board reported Tuesday.
Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted the index would be 56.0.
The June index was originally reported as 58.5.
The present situation index dipped to 35.7 from a downwardly revised 36.6, originally reported as 37.6, while the expectations index increased to 75.4 from a downwardly revised 71.6, originally reported as 72.4.
Business conditions were called “good” by 13.4% of respondents in July, off from 13.7% in June. Those saying conditions are “bad” climbed to 39.0% from 38.4%.
The percentage of consumers expecting a pickup in business conditions in the next half year rose to 17.7% from 16.5%, while 15.2% said they expect conditions to worsen, up from 14.9%.
On the employment front, those who believe jobs are “plentiful” held at 5.1% in July, while the number saying jobs are “hard to get” increased to 44.1% this survey from 43.2%.
The respondents who see fewer jobs becoming available in a half year grew to 21.8% from 20.7%. Those expecting more jobs to become available increased to 16.7% from 13.8%, the board reported.