U.S. consumer confidence rises more than expected in August

FILE PHOTO: People shop in a supermarket as inflation affected consumer prices in Manhattan, New York City

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. consumer confidence rebounded more than expected in August after three straight monthly declines, with vacation intentions rising to an eight-month high, a potential positive signal for consumer spending.

The Conference Board said on Tuesday its consumer confidence index rose to 103.2 this month from 95.3 in July. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the index climbing to 97.7.

The survey’s present situation index, based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions,

climbed to 145.4 from 139.7 in July. Its expectations index, based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions, increased to 75.1 from 65.6 last month.

“Purchasing intentions increased after a July pullback, and vacation intentions reached an 8-month high,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at the Conference Board in Washington. “August’s improvement in confidence may help support spending, but inflation and additional rate hikes still pose risks to economic growth in the short term.”

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)