Consumer confidence at 16-year high

The Consumer Confidence Index increased in August to 122.9, up from 120.0 in July. The Present Situation Index rose from 145.2 to 151.2 and the Expectations Index increased from 103.0 to 104.0.

“Consumer confidence increased in August following a moderate improvement in July,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ more buoyant assessment of present-day conditions was the primary driver of the boost in confidence, with the Present Situation Index continuing to hover at a 16-year high (July 2001, 151.3). Consumers’ short-term expectations were relatively flat, though still optimistic, suggesting that they do not anticipate an acceleration in the pace of economic activity in the months ahead.”

Consumers saying business conditions are “good” increased from 32.5 percent to 34.5 percent and those saying business conditions are “bad” dipped from 13.5 percent to 13.1 percent. Those stating jobs are “plentiful” rose from 33.2 percent to 35.4 percent and those claiming jobs are “hard to get” decreased from 18.7 percent to 17.3 percent.

The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months declined from 22.4 percent to 19.6 percent; however, those expecting business conditions to worsen decreased from 8.4 percent to 7.3 percent.

The proportion of consumers expecting more jobs in the months ahead declined from 18.5 percent to 17.1 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs also declined from 13.2 percent to 13.0 percent. Those expecting an improvement in short-term income prospects increased moderately from 20.0 percent to 20.9 percent and the proportion expecting a decline decreased from 9.5 percent to 7.8 percent.

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