Consumer confidence, which improved somewhat in July, made further gains in August, according to The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index. Despite improvements, however, the overall readings remain "quite low" by historical standards, said Lynn Franco, director of the The Conference Board Research Center.
The August Consumer Confidence Index stood at 56.9, up from 51.9 in July. The Present Situation Index fell to 63.2 from 65.8 in July. However, the Expectations Index increased 10 points, from 42.7 in July to 52.8 in August.
The number of respondents claiming current conditions were "bad" increased to 33.2% in August, from 32.6% the previous month. Respondents calling conditions "good" also increased slightly, from 13.2% in July to 13.4% in August.
Consumer perceptions of the labor market worsened. Thirty-two percent of consumers surveyed called jobs "hard to get" in August, up from 30.2% the previous month. Those calling jobs "plentiful" declined to 13.1% from 13.6%.
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index is a monthly survey of some 5,000 U.S. households.