NEW YORK — U.S. consumers were unexpectedly optimistic in July as consumer confidence rose for the second straight month. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 106.5, up from 105.4 in June.

Some economists were expecting the July reading to fall. However, labor market conditions helped boost confidence, while the proportion of consumers who anticipated their incomes to increase in the months ahead remained virtually unchanged at 17.7 percent.

The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference Board by TNS. TNS is the world’s largest custom research company. The cutoff date for July’s preliminary results was July 18th.

For complete coverage, see tomorrow’s issue of WWD.

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