The ABC News/Washington Post Consumer Comfort Index rose to -15 in the latest week from -17 in the previous period on Tuesday, edging up consumer confidence, though still deep in the negative.
Two of the three components of the index rose, as Americans' positive views on the national economy gained 2 percentage points to 36 percent and views on personal finances gained 3 percentage points to 57 percent.
Their views on the buying climate slipped 2 percentage points to 34 percent, however.
In a separate measure of expectations, just 8 percent of Americans express positive views about the future economy, the fewest since October 1992, the news provider said in a statement.
Far more, 49 percent, think the economy's getting worse, well above the 26-year average of 39 percent, perhaps in reaction to the variety of recent negative economic news, including a poor August jobs report, slowing retail sales and a slumping housing market.
The measure ranges from -100 to +100. Its 2007 average is -8 and 2007 low is -20.
The ABC/Washington Post consumer confidence survey was based on a sample of about 1,000 interviews conducted in the four weeks ending Sept. 16. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.