The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, which had declined in July, rebounded in August. The index now stands at 101.5 (1985=100), up from 91.0 in July. The Present Situation Index increased from 104.0 last month to 115.1 in August while the Expectations Index improved to 92.5 from 82.3 in July.
Consumers’ assessment of current conditions was considerably more favorable in August. Those saying business conditions are “good” decreased marginally from 23.4% to 23.2%. Those claiming business conditions are “bad” declined modestly from 18.2% to 17.6%.
Consumers were considerably more positive about the job market. Those stating jobs are “plentiful” increased from 19.9% to 21.9%, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” decreased from 27.4% to 21.9%.
Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook also improved in August. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased slightly from 15.3% to 15.8%, while those expecting business conditions to worsen declined from 10.3% to 8.3%.
Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was more upbeat. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead increased from 13.7% to 14.6%, while those anticipating fewer jobs decreased sharply from 19.0% to 13.6%. The proportion of consumers expecting their incomes to increase declined moderately from 17.0% to 16.2%, while the proportion expecting a decline decreased from 11.3% to 10.0%.
“Consumer confidence rebounded in August, following a sharp decline in July,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions was considerably more upbeat, primarily due to a more favorable appraisal of the labor market. The uncertainty expressed last month about the short-term outlook has dissipated and consumers are once again feeling optimistic about the near future. Income expectations, however, were little improved.”
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch.
The cutoff date for the preliminary results was August 13.