September 04, 2008: 12:07 PM EST
NEW YORK (Associated Press) - Discover Financial Services said Thursday its consumer spending index hit its highest level so far this year, reflecting consumers' easing pessimism about the economy.
The August Discover U.S. Spending Monitor, which surveys 15,000 adults about their spending habits, rose a record 2.6 points from the previous month to 87.8.
The increase is the highest month-to-month gain in the index's history. Still, the reading remains seven points below the year-ago level of 94.8.
The biggest movement in the monitor came from improving views about the economy. While 65 percent of people said in August they felt the economy was getting worse, that was down from 73 percent in July.
I don't know what do make of this. Rise in consumer spending but still less than a year ago.
Discover's survey did find that feelings about personal finance remain murky. While fewer people in August said their personal finances are getting worse, 59 percent still rated their financial condition as fair or poor, up a point from July.
But look at that! More say it's bad than good. 59% said their financial condition as only fair or poor.