Positive expectations on the jobs front helped boost consumer confidence in August after slipping slightly in July.
The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index is now at 101.1, up from 96.7 in July. Both components of the index were up as well, with the Present Situation Index up at 123 from 118.8 and the Expectations Index now at 86.4 from 82.
Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, said, “Consumer confidence improved in August to its highest level in nearly a year, after a marginal decline in July.” She noted that consumers’ assessment of current business conditions and the labor front was “more favorable than last month.” Short-term expectations improved, “suggesting the possibility of a moderate pick-up in growth in the coming months,” Franco said.
The survey is a look back at consumer sentiment since the cut-off date for preliminary results was Aug. 18.
As for the appraisal of conditions by the respondents, those who said conditions were “good” rose to 30 percent from 27.3 percent last month, while those who said jobs were more “plentiful” rose to 26 percent from 23 percent.
Looking out six months, consumers were optimistic about future prospects. Those who said business conditions would improve rose to 17.3 percent from 15.7 percent. And their assessment on the labor front was also optimistic, with 14.2 percent of respondents concluding that they expect more jobs ahead, up from 13.5 percent in July. Also important was an increase in the percentage of consumers who expect their incomes to improve, at 18.8 percent versus 17.1 percent last month. Those who said they expect their income to decline decreased slightly to 10.7 percent from 11 percent last month.