OTTAWA - The Conference Board says Canadians are starting to believe the recovery is just around the corner.

The Ottawa think-tank's latest survey of consumer confidence shows Canadians are more optimistic about their future financial situations and about employment conditions.

The survey conducted between Aug. 6 and 16 found the consumer confidence index rising 5.5 points to 88.4, the highest level in more than a year.

It was the sixth consecutive increase in the monthly consumer confidence survey. Since the beginning of the year, the index has gained 18.2 points.

The Conference Board says fewer respondents now believe their financial situation will deteriorate over the next six months, although the majority still expect no better than that their personal situation will not change.

On the jobs question, 25.6 per cent feel there will be fewer jobs available in the next six months, a huge improvement from the 54.5 per cent who felt gloomy about jobs prospects six months ago.

Still, on both the financial situation and jobs category, the percentage of respondents who gave positive responses remained low, and indication that concern about the economy had not completely vanished.

On a more upbeat note, more respondents feel now is a good time to make a major purchase, such as a car, than say it is not, the first time the balance of opinion on the question has been positive since April, 2008.