Consumer Economic Confidence Slips In June; Labor Market Outlook Favorable

Consumer confidence slipped in June, following an uptick in the previous month. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index for June stands at 126.4, down from 128.8 in May.

Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board says, “Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions was relatively unchanged, suggesting that the level of economic growth remains strong. While expectations remain high by historical standards, the modest curtailment in optimism suggests that consumers do not foresee the economy gaining much momentum in the months ahead.”

Looking more closely at the Conference Board’s results, its Present Situation Index was relatively flat, 161.1 versus 161.2 last month, while the Expectations Index declined from 107.2 last month to 103.2 this month. Also relatively unchanged in June were consumers’ assessment of current conditions. The share describing current conditions as “good” decreased from 38.6 percent to 36 percent, but those saying they were “bad” also dropped, from 12.6 percent to 11.7 percent. Consumers are also mixed on the labor market—consumers who consider jobs “plentiful” decreased from 42.1 percent to 40 percent, and those saying they are “hard to get” decreased from 15.6 percent to 14.9 percent.

Consumers’ expectations for the coming six months softened in June. The percentage anticipating business conditions to improve slipped from 23.3 percent to 21.4 percent, and those expecting them to worsen climbed from 7.8 percent to 9.8 percent.

The outlook on the labor market was more favorable. The share of consumers expecting more jobs in the months ahead ticked up from 19.7 percent to 20 percent, and those anticipating fewer jobs slipped from 13.1 percent to 12.6 percent. However, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement in their short-term income prospects declined, from 21.4 percent to 18.8 percent, while the proportion expecting a decrease rose from 8 percent to 8.7 percent.

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen.

filed under June 2018
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