Consumer Confidence Index Sees Slight Increase In August

The Consumer Confidence Index improved slightly in August, to 53.5, up from 51.0 in July.
However, consumers’ appraisal of current conditions continued to weaken in August. Concerns about unemployment worsened with those saying jobs are “hard to get” increasing to 45.7% from 45.1%, while those saying jobs are “plentiful” decreasing to 3.8% from 4.4%. Those claiming business conditions are “good” decreased to 8.7% from 8.8%.
Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said, “Consumer confidence posted a modest gain in August, the result of an improvement in consumers’ short-term outlook. Consumers’ assessment of current conditions, however, were less favorable as employment concerns continue to weigh heavily on consumers’ attitudes. Expectations about future business and labor market conditions have brightened somewhat, but overall, consumers remain apprehensive about the future. All in all, consumers are about as confident today as they were a year ago.”
While consumers didn’t show confidence in the current employment picture, they were slightly less pessimistic about future employment prospects. Those expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased to 14.6% from 14.2%, while those anticipating fewer jobs decreased to 19.4% from 20.9%. The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes held steady at 10.6%.