U.S. consumer confidence fell this month after a big gain in January but remains higher than it was before the Great Recession.

The Conference Board reports that its consumer confidence index dropped this month 96.4 from a revised 103.8 in January. The February and January readings are the highest since before the recession started in December 2007.

Consumers were slightly less confident about current economic conditions and considerably less confident about the next six months.

A year ago, the consumer confidence index was a much lower 78.3. The rising confidence over the past year reflects a stronger job market. Employers added more than 1 million jobs from November through January — the best three months of hiring since the fall of 1997.