Consumer Confidence Picks Up In August
Consumer confidence rebounded in August, according to The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index. The Index, which declined to 91.0 in July, now stands at 101.5. The Conference Board bases the index on its monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, conducted for the organization by Nielsen. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was August 13.
“Consumers’ assessment of current conditions was considerably more upbeat primarily due to a more favorable appraisal of the labor market,” says Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “The uncertainty expressed last month about the short-term outlook has dissipated and consumers are once again feeling optimistic about the near future. Income expectations, however, were little improved.”
While the percentage of consumers describing business conditions as “good” eased from 23.4 percent to 23.2 percent, the percentage claiming business conditions were “bad” declined from 18.2 percent to 17.6 percent. Furthermore, consumers describing jobs as “plentiful” rose from 19.9 percent to 21.9 percent and those saying they were “hard to get” slipped from 27.4 percent to 21.9 percent.
Short-term optimism also picked up in August, as the percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased from 15.3 percent to 15.8 percent, while those expecting them to worsen declined from 10.3 percent to 8.3 percent.
Consumer assessment of the labor market also showed improvements in August. The percentage of survey respondents expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 13.7 percent to 14.6 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs decreased from 19 percent to 13.6 percent. The share of consumers expecting their incomes to increase declined from 17 percent to 16.2 percent, while those expecting a decrease eased from 11.3 percent to 10 percent.