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A fresh round of data is providing mixed signals from the U.S. economy. Contrary to what we've seen in previous weeks, the recent round has eased some concern the economy is headed for another downturn.
The US Conference Board said its index of consumer attitudes, seen as a gauge of consumer spending, rose to 53.5 in August from an upwardly revised 51.0 in July. Consumer spending typically accounts for about two-thirds of US economic activity and is considered critical to the recovery.
In another encouraging sign for the economy, home prices were up more than expected in June and rose for the April to June quarter. The gain, however, likely reflects the lingering boost from homebuyer tax credits that ended in April.
Economists also agree the effects of buyer tax credits have largely filtered through. But on the other hand, business activity in the midwest region of the country expanded at a slower-than-expected pace last month.
- US Fed expects sluggish economic recovery 2010-09-01