The war in Iraq, rising gasoline prices and the prospect of higher interest rates have failed to dent American consumer confidence which is at a two year high.

The Conference Board, a New York business research organization, said an upturn in the job market and wage increases were the main factors.

Most significant was the fact that the majority of consumers claimed they were on course to make major purchases which included either buying a home or a car.

On the downside one leading weekly survey of chain stores reported a 1.2% drop in sales. Retailers, however, blamed the weather.

Wal-Mart Stores, Target, and General Motors, have all recently reported their June sales were below expectations.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff