NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Consumer confidence in the U.S. economy rose in August, a research group said Tuesday, though consumers remained worried about job prospects.
The Conference Board, a business research group based in New York, said its closely watched index of consumer confidence rose to 81.3 from a revised 77 in July. Economists, on average, expected confidence to rise to about 80, according to a Reuters poll.
Consumer confidence is watched closely since consumer spending makes up more than two-thirds of the total economy.
The Conference Board's "expectations" index, which measures how consumers feel about the future, rose to 94.4 from a revised 86.3 in July. The "present situation" index dropped to 61.6 from a revised 63.
"The welcome bounce back in confidence this month was entirely due to consumers' increasing optimism about the future," said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board's Consumer Research Center, which surveys 5,000 homes monthly.
In the survey, the percentage of people saying jobs were "hard to get" rose to 34.1 from 32.7 in July. Expectations for future job growth rose, however, with 18 percent expecting future improvement in the job market, compared with 16.6 percent in July.
U.S. stock prices fell after the report. Treasury bond prices also fell.