Both components of the Index saw gains. The Present Situation Index rose to 151.2 from 145.4 in July, while the Expectations Index rose marginally to 104 from 103, suggesting that consumers in the latest survey aren’t as upbeat about the economy over the next six months.
Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, said, “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.”
The high was in July 2001, when the Present Situation Index was at 151.3. Franco said the short-term expectations for six months out suggest that consumers, although moderately optimistic, do not anticipate an acceleration in the pace of economic activity in the months ahead.”
According to the early results from the survey, which had a cut-off date of Aug. 16, consumers who said business conditions are “good” rose to 34.5 percent from 32.5 percent. Their assessment of the labor market was also more upbeat, with those saying jobs are “plentiful” up to 35.4 percent from 33.2 percent.
As for the short-term outlook on the labor front, consumers who expect more jobs in the months ahead fell to 18.5 percent from 17.1 percent. And those who said they expect improvement in their short-term income prospects rose slightly to 20.9 percent from 20 percent.
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