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Consumers still grim, but less so

By Sheyna Steiner · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Posted: 2 pm ET

Every month, a business research organization called The Conference Board surveys 5,000 people to find out how they're feeling about the economy. Their results are known as The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index.

The results for August were released Tuesday morning and showed that consumers are feeling slightly less bleak, the Conference Board press release announced.

Annalyn Censky wrote a column for the CNN Money website on Tuesday, "Consumer confidence rises in August," in which she reported that the index typically indicates a healthy economy when it stands around 90.

Currently, the Consumer Confidence Index is at 53.5 up from 51 for July.

Americans aren't too thrilled about their present circumstances however. Another index called the Present Situation Index reveals how consumers feel right now and the verdict is, we're feeling a bit more grim this month than last. The index fell from 26.4 in July to 24.9 this month.

Americans, being the optimistic bunch, feel that things will improve. The Expectations Index gained some ground, up to 72.5 from 67.5 in July.

Over at The Atlantic website, David Indiviglio points out that consumer confidence will likely remain depressed for some time. In "Consumer confidence improves modestly in August," he reports that Americans are saving money and getting out of debt, however we're still struggling due to high unemployment.

Employment may not improve by leaps and bounds until demand for products and services increases -- which won't happen until people start spending again.

And so, the economy flounders on. Here's hoping for an improved nonfarm payrolls report this Friday.

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