Consumer Confidence Improves Slightly In July
Consumer confidence, which had slipped marginally in June, ticked upward in July, reports The Conference Board. Its Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 121.1, up from 117.3 in June. Breaking its findings down a bit, the Present Situation Index increased from 143.9 to 147.8, while the Expectations Index rose from 99.6 last month to 103.3. The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen.
"Consumer confidence increased in July following a marginal decline in June," says Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. "Consumers' assessment of current conditions remained at a 16-year high (July 2001, 151.3) and their expectations for the short-term outlook improved somewhat after cooling last month. Overall, consumers foresee the current economic expansion continuing well into the second half of this year."
Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved in July, with the share describing business conditions as “good” increasing from 30.6 percent to 33.3 percent and the number saying that they were bad was stable at 13.5 percent. Their opinions of the labor market also improved, with those claiming jobs are “plentiful” climbing to 34.1 percent from 32 percent, while those who consider jobs “hard to get” slipping from 18.4 percent to 18 percent.
Consumers also grew more optimistic about the short-term outlook in July. The percentage expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased from 20.1 percent to 22.9 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen declined from 10 percent to 8.2 percent. Their outlook for the labor market also improved. The share expecting more jobs in the months ahead was unchanged at 19.2 percent, but those anticipating fewer jobs decreased from 14.6 percent to 13.3 percent.
Consumers, however, were not as upbeat about their income prospects as in June. The percentage of consumers expecting an improvement in their income declined moderately from 20.9 percent to 20.0 percent, while the proportion expecting a decline increased from 9.3 percent to 10 percent.