Confidence among American consumers improved in July after a marginal decline in June according to the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index.
The index was 121.1 for the month, compared with 117.3 in June. The Present Situation Index increased to 147.8 from 143.9, while the Expectations Index rose to 103.3 from 99.6 a month ago.
"Consumer confidence increased in July following a marginal decline in June," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. "Consumers' assessment of current conditions remained at a 16-year high (July 2001, 151.3) and their expectations for the short-term outlook improved somewhat after cooling last month. Overall, consumers foresee the current economic expansion continuing well into the second half of this year.”
July saw an improvement in consumers’ assessment of current conditions, their short-term outlook as well as their labor-market outlook.
Thirty-three percent of consumers said business conditions were good, an increase from the 30.6% that said so a month ago. Those that found business conditions were bad were virtually unchanged at 13.5%.
In terms of short-term outlook, 22.9% of consumers now expect business conditions to improve over the next six months, an improvement from the 20.1% figure a month ago. There are now fewer consumers that expect business conditions to worsen at 8.2%, down from 10% of consumer in June.
Consumers’ confidence in the labor market was also more favorable than it was in June. The share of consumers who found that jobs were plentiful rose to 34.1% from 32.0% in June. The percentage of consumers who claimed jobs were hard to get crept down to 18.0% from 18.4%.
Despite their improved labor-market outlook, consumers were not as positive when it came to their income prospects compared to June. More consumers now expect a decline in their income, at 10% from the 9.3% in June. Twenty percent expect their incomes to improve, a decrease from 20.9% a month ago.
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