A private research group is reporting that U.S. consumers' confidence rose slightly in July as their concerns about jobs and income eased somewhat.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index edged up to 59.5 in July, from a revised 57.6 in June that marked a seven-month low in the measure. Economists had expected the July figure to fall to 56.

Consumers' short-term outlook improved, according to the index, but their thoughts on current business and employment conditions were worse as labor market concerns persist.

A reading of 90 indicates a healthy economy on the index, which measures how Americans feel about business conditions, the job market and the next six months. Economists carefully monitor consumer confidence because consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.