The economy may be stalled right now, but it’s showing signs of improvement. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which made moderate gains in July, improved further in August. The index currently stands at 56.9, up 5 percentage points from July. It’s the second month in a row that the index showed improvement after six months of decline.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, a monthly survey based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households, measures consumers’ attitudes about the current economy in the Present Situation Index and their attitudes about the next six months in the Expectations Index.

While the Present Situation Index decreased from 65.8 in July to 63.2 in August, the Expectations Index jumped 10 points from 42.7 to 52.8, suggesting “better times may be ahead,” says Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center.

"Consumer confidence readings suggest that the economy remains stuck in neutral, but may be showing signs of improvement by early next year,” Franco says. “Declines in the Present Situation Index, both in terms of business conditions and the labor market, appear to be moderating. The Expectations Index, which posted a significant gain this month, suggests better times may be ahead. However, overall readings are still quite low by historical standards and it is still too early to tell if the worst is behind us."

For more information on the Consumer Confidence Index, visit The Conference Board.