US consumer confidence rises slightly to 130.7 in February

US consumer confidence rises slightly to 130.7 in February
FILE - In this Dec. 9, 2019, file photo Melissa Rogan, left, and her daughter Renee, 9-months-old, browse the new Toys R Us store at a mall in Paramus, N.J. On Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, the Conference Board reports on U.S. consumer confidence for February. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence improved slightly in February, rising to a reading of 130.7, the highest point since August.

The Conference Board said Tuesday that its measure of consumer sentiment is up from a revised reading of 130.4 in January. The January reading was revised down from an initial estimate of 131.6.

Consumers views on the present situation for business and labor market conditions fell this month but their expectations for the future rose.

Conference Board economist Lynn Franco said that consumers continue to view the outlook as favorable, and when this is combined with solid employment growth, it should be enough to support continued spending and economic growth in the near term. Consumer spending has been the driving force in the current economic expansion, now in its 11th year.

Surveys of consumer sentiment are closely followed for clues about whether households remain in a buying mood. Consumer spending accounts for 70% of economic activity.