Conference Board: Consumer Confidence Gains Traction In August

Consumer confidence has gained in August after only marginally improving in July, according to The Conference Board.

The board’s Confidence Index now stands at 133.4, up from 127.9 in July. Any score over 100 represents a positive consumer confidence sentiment. The Present Situation Index improved from 166.1 to 172.2 this month, while the Expectations Index increased from 102.4 in July to 107.6 in August.

The proportion of consumers saying business conditions are good increased from 38.1% to 40.3%, while the proportion saying business conditions are bad declined from 10.3% to 9.1%. Consumer appraisal of the labor market gained slightly with the percentage saying jobs are plentiful remained virtually unchanged at 42.7%, while those claiming jobs are hard to get declined from 14.8% to 12.7%.

The proportion of consumers anticipating that business conditions will improve over the next six months increased from 22.9% to 24.3% but those expecting business conditions to worsen gained marginally from 10.3% to 10.5%.

The percentage of consumers who expected more jobs opening over the coming months decreased but so did the percentage of consumers who expect fewer jobs opening. For short-term income prospects, more consumers expected improvement versus July and fewer expected deterioration.

“Consumer confidence increased to its highest level since October 2000 following a modest improvement in July,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions improved further. Expectations, which had declined in June and July, bounced back in August and continue to suggest solid economic growth for the remainder of 2018.”