The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in June, was relatively unchanged in July. The index now stands at 97.3 (1985=100), compared to 97.4 in June. The Present Situation Index increased from 116.6 to 118.3, while the Expectations Index edged down to 83.3 from 84.6 in June.  

Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions improved slightly in July. Those stating business conditions are “good” increased from 26.8% to 28.1%; however, those saying business conditions are “bad” also rose, from 18.3% to 19.0%.

Consumers’ appraisal of the labor market was little changed from last month. Those claiming jobs are “plentiful” declined marginally from 23.2% to 23.0%; however, those claiming jobs are “hard to get” also decreased, from 23.7% to 22.3%.

Consumers’ optimism regarding the short-term outlook was slightly less favorable in July. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased from 16.6% to 15.9%, while those expecting business conditions to worsen increased from 11.2% to 12.3%.  

Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was marginally more favorable than last month. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead was virtually unchanged at 14.0%, while those anticipating fewer jobs decreased from 17.7% to 17.0%.

The percentage of consumers expecting their incomes to increase declined from 18.2% to 16.6%; however, the proportion expecting a decrease also declined, from 11.3% to 10.8%.

“Consumer confidence held steady in July, after improving in June,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers were slightly more positive about current business and labor market conditions, suggesting the economy will continue to expand at a moderate pace. Expectations regarding business and labor market conditions, as well as personal income prospects, declined slightly as consumers remain cautiously optimistic about growth in the near term.”  

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch.

The cutoff date for the preliminary results was July 14.