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Consumer Confidence Dips

Consumer confidence remained at lofty levels in August, the Conference Board said Tuesday.

The Consumer Confidence Index fell slightly to 135.8 from a revised 136.2 in July, the private economic research group said. July's index was originally reported at 135.6.

The small decline in the index was due to more pessimism about the current economy. The present situation index dipped to 176.2 from 179.2 in July, while the expectations index rose to 108.9 from 107.6.

"Hikes in interest rates, severe drought conditions in the Northeast, and rising gasoline prices have helped dampen overall consumer optimism," said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board's Consumer Research Center.

In a separate report, the Chicago Purchasing Managers said its index fell to 56.1 after hitting 60.5 in July, but the big worry in the Chicago PMI was the prices paid index, which rose to 63.8 from 59.8 in July.

The Chicago PMI is followed by investors who want a sneak preview of the National Association of Purchasing Managers' index, which comes out Wednesday.

A panel of economists surveyed by CBS.MarketWatch.com expected consumer confidence to dip to 135.0.

Written By Rex Nutting, CBS MarketWatch

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