In a sign that it might have reached its bottom, consumer confidence made a slight rebound in July, its first increase of the year after six consecutive months of declines.
According to preliminary estimates released Tuesday, the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rose to 51.9, compared with a revised 51 in June. Last month’s Consumer Confidence Index level was the lowest in 16 years, reflecting persistent fears about the weakening economy. Wall Street had expected the index to fall further toward the 50 range in July and its small bounce helped spark a 266-point rally in the stock market.
“We do think we’ve hit a bottom and things will probably improve from here,” said Scott Hoyt, senior director of consumer economics at Moody’s Economy.com. Hoyt said energy prices are still the foremost concern on consumers’ minds and the recent falloff in oil prices steadied the index.
The two key components of the index moved in different directions in July as the Present Situation Index fell incrementally to 65.3, compared with 65.4 in June. The Expectations Index rose to 43, compared with 41.4 last month.
“While consumers remain extremely grim about short-term prospects, the modest improvement in expectations, often a harbinger of economic times to come, bears careful watching over the next few months,” said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center.
The poll, which samples 5,000 American households monthly, showed a consumer base pessimistic about the recent landscape. Though 13.1 percent of respondents described current business conditions as “good,” up from 11.5 percent in June, the number of respondents describing business conditions as “bad” also rose, to 32.8 percent from 31.9 percent.
Respondents’ expectations for the next six months were marginally brighter. The percentage of those expecting business conditions to be “better” in the next six months rose to 9.3 from 8.5 in June, while 32.4 percent of households polled expected conditions to be “worse,” compared with 33.5 percent last month.
The unexpected rise in consumer confidence and another drop in oil prices made for a big day on Wall Street Tuesday. The Standard & Poor’s Retail Index rose 4 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 266.48 points and The Standard & Poor’s 500 climbed 28.82 points.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast