U.S. consumer confidence hits one-year high

NEW YORK – Aug. 30, 2016 – The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had decreased slightly in July, increased in August.

The Index now stands at 101.1 compared to 96.7 in July. The Present Situation Index rose from 118.8 to 123.0, while the Expectations Index that gauges consumers’ expectations six months from now improved from 82.0 last month to 86.4 in August.

“Consumer confidence improved in August to its highest level in nearly a year, after a marginal decline in July,” says 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.”

Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions
Americans stating that business conditions are “good” increased from 27.3 percent to 30.0 percent, while those saying business conditions are “bad” remained virtually unchanged at 18.4 percent.

Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was also more favorable. Those claiming jobs were more “plentiful” increased from 23.0 percent to 26.0 percent; however, those claiming jobs are “hard to get” also rose, from 22.1 percent to 23.4 percent.

Consumers’ appraisal of future conditions
The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased from 15.7 percent to 17.3 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen decreased from 12.4 percent to 11.1 percent.

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 percent to 14.2 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs remained virtually unchanged at 17.5 percent.

The percentage of consumers expecting their incomes to increase improved from 17.1 percent to 18.8 percent, while the proportion expecting a decline decreased marginally from 11.0 percent to 10.7 percent.

Nielsen conducts the monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, for The Conference Board. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was August 18.

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