Consumer confidence improved for the second straight month in August, though the outlook on jobs and the economy remained grim, the Conference Board reported this week.
More consumers this month said they believed business conditions would improve in the months ahead, leading to more jobs, the New York-based private research group said.
Despite the gains, the overall outlook remained at record lows.
"Perhaps consumers are feeling that we're nearing a bottom or we're at a bottom, and that things can't get much worse than what they currently are," said Lynn Franco, the group's director of consumer research.
Franco said more persistent improvements were needed before saying the worst was over.
The results were based on a survey of 5,000 U.S. households.