WASHINGTON - Consumer confidence rose in August to the highest level since January and the second highest level since the end of the recession. The consumer confidence index climbed to 101.5 from a revised 91.0 in July, the Conference Board said Tuesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had projected the index to rise to 94.0. The present situation index, a measure of current conditions, soared to a postrecession high of 115.1 from 104 in July. The future expectations index increased to 92.5 from 82.3. "Consumers' assessment of current conditions was considerably more upbeat, primarily due to a more favorable appraisal of the labor market. The uncertainty expressed last month about the short-term outlook has dissipated and consumers are once again feeling optimistic about the near future," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at board.
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