Consumer Confidence Dips In May

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index slipped slightly in May, following an April decline.

Although still in relatively optimistic territory at 117.9, the index is down from 119.4 in April. The Present Situation Index, regarding immediate economic prospects, increased marginally from 140.3 to 140.7, while the Expectations Index, which looks further ahead, declined from 105.4 last month to 102.6 in May, still above the 100 borderline between positive and negative sentiments.

In the index survey, the proportion of consumers characterizing business conditions as good edged down from 30.8% to 29.4%, but those describing business conditions as bad remained steady at 13.7%. Consumer assessment of the labor market also remained positive, with those characterizing jobs as plentiful declining marginally from 30.3% to 29.9%, but those describing jobs as hard to get decreasing from 19.4% to 18.2%.

“Consumer confidence decreased slightly in May, following a moderate decline in April,” said Lynn Franco, Conference Board director of economic indicators. “However, consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions held steady, suggesting little change in overall economic conditions. Looking ahead, consumers were somewhat less upbeat than in April, but overall remain optimistic that the economy will continue expanding into the summer months.”