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Washington (AFP) — U.S. consumer confidence increased for a fourth straight month in August, the Conference Board said Tuesday, with views of the jobs market improving with the pickup in hiring nationally.

The consumer confidence index rose to 92.4 from 90.3 in July, compared with 81.8 a year ago. It was the best level for the index since February 2008, when the country was plunging into the Great Recession.

Negative views of current conditions of business and employment fell somewhat and positive views rose, but that was moderated by a slightly more skeptical view of where conditions would be in the near future.

The index for conditions in six months slipped to 90.9 from 91.9, but the data showed a large percentage of respondents expect little change in conditions from now.

“Improving business conditions and robust job growth helped boost consumers’ spirit,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board.

“Looking ahead, consumers were marginally less optimistic about the short-term outlook compared to July, primarily due to concerns about their earnings.”

AFP Photo/Joe Raedle

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