Consumer Confidence Rises More Than Expected

New York, NY, Aug. 26, 2008--Consumer confidence increased more than forecast in August as gasoline prices eased, according to the Conference Board.

The board's confidence index rose to 56.9 from 51.9 in July.

A weakening labor market, falling home prices and higher inflation may curb consumer spending for the remainder of the year even as gasoline prices have fallen during the last six weeks.

The Conference Board's confidence index was forecast by economists to climb to 53, from a previously reported 51.9 for July.

The share of people telling the Conference Board that jobs are hard to get increased to 32 percent, the highest since October 2003, from 30.2 percent in July. Those saying jobs were plentiful declined to 13.1 percent this month from 13.6 percent.

The share of respondents expecting fewer jobs in six months decreased to 30.6 percent from 37.3 percent.

The outlook for incomes was little changed. The proportion of people who expect their incomes to rise over the next six months increased to 14.7 percent from 14.3 percent last month, according to today's report. The gauge fell to a record-low 13.1 percent in June. Records began in 1967.