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U.S. Consumer Confidence Moves Higher in June

National consumer confidence has moved higher four months in a row, and June numbers hit their highest level since the start of the pandemic – in March 2020.

BOSTON – The attitudes of everyday American consumers seem to be rebounding from the pandemic-era’s lockdowns. The monthly Consumer Confidence Index hit its highest level this June since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

The Index now stands at 127.3, up from 120.0 (an upward revision) in May. The Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions – rose from 148.7 to 157.7. The Expectations Index – based on consumers’ short-term future outlook for income, business and labor market conditions – rose to 107.0, up from 100.9 last month.

“Consumer confidence increased in June and is currently at its highest level since the onset of the pandemic’s first surge in March 2020,” says Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.

Franco says the uptick in current conditions suggests “economic growth has strengthened further in (second quarter of 2021). Consumers’ short-term optimism rebounded, buoyed by expectations that business conditions and their own financial prospects will continue improving in the months ahead.”

While inflation saw a notable uptick recently, most American consumers seem to share the belief that it’s a short-term event as production works out pandemic-caused supply chain problems. It “had little impact on consumers’ confidence or purchasing intentions,” Franco says. “In fact, the proportion of consumers planning to purchase homes, automobiles and major appliances all rose – a sign that consumer spending will continue to support economic growth in the short-term. Vacation intentions also rose, reflecting a continued increase in spending on services.”

Present situation

Consumers’ appraisal of current business conditions improved in June:

  • 24.5% of consumers said business conditions are “good”, up from to 19.9%.
  • 19.5% of consumers claimed business conditions are “bad”, down from 20.6%.

Consumers’ assessment of the labor market also improved:

  • 54.4% of consumers said jobs are “plentiful”, up from 48.5%.
  • 10.9% of consumers claimed jobs are “hard to get”, down from 11.6%.

Expectations six months from now

Consumers’ optimism about the short-term business conditions outlook rebounded in June.

  • 33.3% of consumers expect business conditions will improve, up from 31.0%.
  • Just 10.6% expect business conditions to worsen, down from 14.4%.

Consumers were mixed about the short-term labor market outlook:

  • 25.7% of consumers expect more jobs to be available in the months ahead, down from 27.7%.
  • Conversely, 16.0% anticipate fewer jobs, down from 17.5%.

Consumers were more upbeat about their short-term financial prospects:

  • 18.6% of consumers expect their incomes to increase, up from 16.2%.
  • Only 8.5% expect their incomes to decrease, down from 9.3%.

 The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey is conducted for The Conference Board by Toluna, a technology company that delivers real-time consumer insights and market research.

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