Consumer Confidence Index at Highest Level in 5 Years

NEW YORK -- The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in May, now stands at its highest level since January 2008. The index as of June 13 is 85.2, up from 82.2 in May.

The present aituation index rose to 85.1 from 80.3, while the expectations index went to 85.2 from 83.5 in May.  Both are components of the Consumer Confidence Index.

"Consumer confidence continues to advance and the index is now at its highest level since January 2008, 87.3," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators, in a prepared statement. "June's increase was driven primarily by improving current conditions, particularly consumers' assessment of business conditions. Expectations regarding the short-term outlook for the economy and jobs were moderately more favorable, while income expectations were a bit mixed. Still, the momentum going forward remains quite positive."

Consumers' appraisal of current conditions improved in June. Those claiming business conditions are "good" went to 23% from 21.1%, while those stating business conditions are "bad" fell to 22.8% from 24.6%. Consumers' assessment of the job market was also more favorable. Those stating jobs are "plentiful" edged up to 14.7% from 14.2% while those claiming jobs are "hard to get" fell to 31.8% from 32.2%.

Consumers' expectations were more positive in June. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months rose to 18.8% from 17.7%. However, those expecting business conditions to worsen increased to 11.4% from 10.7%.

Consumers were more positive about the outlook for the labor market. Those anticipating more jobs in the short run increased to 16.3% from 15.2% while those fearing fewer jobs edged down to 18.7% from 18.9%. Fewer consumers expect their incomes will grow, 15.9% versus 18%, but those expecting a drop in their incomes also declined, to 12.1% from 14.5 %.

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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