Consumer Confidence Strengthened in August

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased 2.9 points to 122.9 in August, the second consecutive monthly increase, though last month’s index was downwardly revised from 121.1 to 120.0. The Present Situation Index rose 5.8 points to 151.2, the fourth consecutive monthly increase. The Expectations Index grew 1.0 point to 104.0 after posting a 3.4 point increase in July.

“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’ labor market outlook was mixed in August. The percentage of consumers expecting more jobs in the coming months declined from 18.5% to 17.1%, and the share of those anticipating fewer jobs decreased marginally from 13.2% to 13.0%. However, income expectations improved, as 20.9% of consumers expected their incomes to increase in coming months, down from 20.0% in July. The proportion expecting a decline fell from 9.5% to 7.8%.

Read the Conference Board release.

About Stephen Newton

Stephen Newton is an economic research associate at ABA.
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