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created: Aug, 02 2012

RAPAPORT… U.S. consumer confidence rose 11 percent year on year in July to 65.9 points (1985=100), according to The Conference Board. The Expectations Index rose five points to 79.1 and The Present Situation Index increase nearly 10 points to 46.2.

Lynn Franco, the director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, explained that readings in July were slightly better than those taken in June. Nonetheless, all three indexes remain at ’historically low levels,’ she concluded.

’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,’ Franco said.

Nearly 14 percent of consumers claimed that business conditions were ’good’ in July, however, 34 percent found that conditions were ’bad.’ About four in 10 believed that jobs were ’hard to get,’ while only eight in 100 felt that jobs were ’plentiful’ in July.