Consumer Confidence Improved Again in September

The Conference Board’s Index of Consumer Confidence rose to 104.1 in September, up from 101.8 in August and 96.7 in July. The Present Situation index rose to 128.5 (a fourth straight gain) while the Expectations Index increased to 87.8 (a second consecutive gain).

The labor market outlook also improved in September. The share of consumers expecting more jobs henceforth rose 0.7 points to 15.1%, while the share anticipating fewer jobs fell 0.5 points to 17.0%.

Income expectations varied, as 17.1% expected family incomes to rise in coming months (down from 18.5% in August) while 10.3% expected decreases (down from 11.0%).

According to Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, “Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions improved, primarily the result of a more positive view of the labor market. Looking ahead, consumers are more upbeat about the short-term employment outlook, but somewhat neutral about business conditions and income prospects. Overall, consumers continue to rate current conditions favorably and foresee moderate economic expansion in the months ahead.”