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US consumer confidence increases

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US consumer confidence rose more than expected in August, to reach the highest level since the recession began, according to results from the Conference Board's latest Consumer Confidence index. The rise from 47.4 in July to 54.1 this month is an early indicator that the American market is becoming more optimistic. However, the index uses a scale where anything above 100 indicates strong growth, with anything more than 90 representing a healthy economy and the current results are well below that level. US President Barack Obama also mentioned other positive signs in the economy: "Our auto industry is showing signs of life. Business investment is showing signs of stabilising. Our housing market and credit markets have been saved from collapse." Analysts will still be watching the unemployment rate closely, although job losses slowed last month.

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