Consumer confidence improved slightly in August, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers.
U-M economist Richard Curtin, director of the surveys, says consumers reported that their finances had improved due to more jobs, higher wages and gains in wealth. He says consumers judged their current financial situation more favorably than anytime since the start of the Great Recession however they remained skeptical about their future financial prospects.
The survey found that most of the August gains were driven by rising stock prices and wages among households in the top third of the income distribution, while those in the bottom two-thirds reported slightly less positive gains than in July.
The Consumer Sentiment Index was 82.5 in the August survey, just above the 81.8 in July and slightly above last August's 82.1. Over the past nine months, the Sentiment Index has remained largely unchanged, in the narrow range between 80.0 and 82.5.
The renewed strength in the past year was focused on the Current Conditions Index which increased by 4.8 percent from 97.4 in July to 99.8 last month, while the Expectations Index fell to 71.3 down 3.3 percent from 71.8 in July.