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US consumer confidence jumps in August

[WASHINGTON] US consumer confidence jumped for the second straight month in August, surpassing expectations amid buoyant feelings about the present situation, according to a monthly survey released Tuesday.

However, the survey showed consumers' are not expecting the economy to improve much in the short-term, the Conference Board said.

The Consumer Confidence Index jumped nearly three points to 122.9, while the present situation index added nearly six points to 151.2, near a 16-year high.

But the expectations index was up just a point to 104, after jumping more than three points in July.

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"Consumers' more buoyant assessment of present-day conditions was the primary driver of the boost in confidence," said Lynn Franco, The Conference Board's director of Economic Indicators.

But for the short-term "expectations were relatively flat, though still optimistic, suggesting that they do not anticipate an acceleration in the pace of economic activity in the months ahead."

Economists had expected consumer sentiment to remain about flat from July at 120.3.

The index is still down from a high recorded in March of 124.9 points.

The current assessment of the labour market improved somewhat, with a slightly higher share of respondents saying jobs are "plentiful" and slightly less saying jobs are "hard to get", the survey showed.

However, the outlook for six months from now is less enthusiastic, with more consumers saying business conditions and jobs would remain the same, and fewer expecting improvement.