Americans felt slightly better about the economy in August than they did in July. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose to 53.5 for August from a revised July figure of 51. Per Briefing.com, analysts had expected the index to ring in at 50.5.
Despite the incremental improvement, the index is still far below 90 points, which is considered the benchmark for a solid economy.
The consumer confidence reading comes from the Conference Board’s survey of 5,000 American households. It generates a varied reception on Wall Street. Some see it as an important indicator of the economy’s direction, because the majority of GDP is generated by consumer spending. Others, however, are distrustful of the reading because what people say about their economy and how they spend their money are two separate things.
Wall Street is looking ahead to Friday’s August jobs report from the Department of Labor. Analysts are expecting a loss of 120,000 jobs, following a decline of 131,000 in July.