Consumer confidence rebounds in August

After a decline in July, the Consumer Confidence Index rose sharply to 101.5 in August, the Conference Board reported.

The Present Situation Index increased from 104.0 in July to 115.1 in August, the highest level for the index since November 2007. The Expectations Index increased from 82.3 in July to 92.5 in August.

Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch, conducts the monthly Consumer Confidence Survey – based on a probability-design random sample – for The Conference Board. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was August 13.

“Consumer confidence rebounded in August, following a sharp decline in July,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions was considerably more upbeat, primarily due to a more favorable appraisal of the labor market. 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.”

Consumers’ assessment of current conditions was considerably more favorable in August. Those saying business conditions are “good” declined slightly from 23.4 to 23.2 percent and those saying conditions are “bad” also declined from 18.2 to 17.6 percent. Consumers who stated jobs are “plentiful” increased from 19.9 to 21.9 percent and those who claimed jobs are “hard to get” dropped from 27.4 to 21.9 percent.

The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased from 15.3 to 15.8 percent and those expecting conditions to worsen declined from 10.3 to 8.3 percent.

The proportion of consumers anticipating more jobs in the months ahead improved from 13.7 to 14.6 percent and those anticipating fewer jobs fell from 19.0 to 13.6 percent. Those expecting their incomes to increase declined moderately from 17.0 to 16.2 percent, while those expecting a decline also decreased from 11.3 to 10.0 percent.

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