Consumer Confidence At Highest Level In Nearly A Year

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index showed an uptick in August after posting a slight decrease one month before. The Index now stands at 101.1, compared to 96.7 in July.

“Consumer confidence improved in August to its highest level in nearly a year, after a marginal decline in July,” says Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of both current business and labor market conditions was considerably more favorable than last month. Short-term expectations regarding business and employment conditions, as well as personal income prospects, also improved, suggesting the possibility of a moderate pick-up in growth in the coming months.”

Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions improved in August, with the percentage describing business conditions as “good” increasing from 27.3 percent to 30 percent, while those saying they were “bad” was virtually unchanged from July at 18.4 percent. Their take on the labor market also grew more favorable, month to month. Those describing jobs were more “plentiful” climbed from 23 percent to 26 percent. However, the share of consumers saying that they were "hard to get" also rose, from 22.1 percent to 23.4 percent.

The short-term business outlook also picked up in August. Consumers grew more likely to expect business conditions to improve over the next six months, from 15.7 percent to 17.3 percent, while those expecting them to worsen slipped from 12.4 percent to 11.1 percent. Their labor market outlook also grew more favorable, with the share of consumers expecting more jobs in the months ahead ticking up from 13.5 percent to 14.2 percent. Those expecting fewer jobs were unchanged from July at 17.5 percent. Consumers’ expectations of income increases improved from 17.1 percent to 18.8 percent, while the proportion expecting a decline decreased marginally from 11.0 percent to 10.7 percent.

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