U.S. Confidence Rises – First Time in 3 Months
Overall U.S. consumer confidence rose over 8% month-to-month in August. Attitudes about current conditions moved higher for the first time since March.
BOSTON – The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased in August after three consecutive monthly declines. The Index now stands at 103.2, up from 95.3 in July, an 8.3% rise.
The Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions – improved to 145.4 from 139.7 last month (4.1%). The Expectations Index – based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions – increased to 75.1 from 65.6 (14.5%).
“The Present Situation Index recorded a gain for the first time since March,” says Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “The Expectations Index likewise improved from July’s 9-year low but remains below a reading of 80, suggesting recession risks continue.”
Franco says inflation concerns eased a bit, but they remain elevated.
“Meanwhile, purchasing intentions increased after a July pullback, and vacation intentions reached an 8-month high,” says Franco. “Looking ahead, August’s improvement in confidence may help support spending, but inflation and additional rate hikes still pose risks to economic growth in the short term.”
- 19.2% of consumers said business conditions were “good,” up from 16.3%
- 23.2% said business conditions were “bad,” down from 24.2%
- 48.0% said jobs were “plentiful,” down from 49.2%.
- But 11.4% said jobs were “hard to get,” down from 12.4%.
Expectations six months in the future
- 17.5% of consumers think business conditions will improve, up from 13.7%
- 22.3% expect business conditions to worsen, down from 26.2%
- 17.4% expect more jobs to be available, up from 15.1%
- 19.3% anticipate fewer jobs, down from 21.1%
- 15.8% expect their incomes to increase, up from 15.3%
- 14.5% expect their incomes will decrease, down from 15.5%
Toluna conducts the monthly Consumer Confidence Survey for The Conference Board. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was August 23.
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