The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had decreased slightly in July, increased in August. The index now stands at 101.1 (1985=100), compared to 96.7 in July. The Present Situation Index rose from 118.8 to 123.0, while the Expectations Index improved from 82.0 last month to 86.4.
Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions improved in August. Those stating business conditions are “good” increased from 27.3% to 30.0%, while those saying business conditions are “bad” remained virtually unchanged at 18.4%.
Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was also more favorable. Those claiming jobs were more “plentiful” increased from 23.0% to 26.0%; however, those claiming jobs are “hard to get” also rose, from 22.1% to 23.4%.
Consumers’ optimism regarding the short-term outlook picked up in August. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased from 15.7% to 17.3%, while those expecting business conditions to worsen decreased from 12.4% to 11.1%.
Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also more favorable than in July. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead rose from 13.5% to 14.2%, while those anticipating fewer jobs remained virtually unchanged at 17.5%.
The percentage of consumers expecting their incomes to increase improved from 17.1% to 18.8%, while the proportion expecting a decline decreased marginally from 11.0% to 10.7%.
“Consumer confidence improved in August to its highest level in nearly a year, after a marginal decline in July,” said Lynn Franco, director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of both current business and labor market conditions was considerably more favorable than last month. Short-term expectations regarding business and employment conditions, as well as personal income prospects, also improved, suggesting the possibility of a moderate pick-up in growth in the coming months.”
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 18.