Consumer Confidence Increases In August In A Mild Surprise
Just moments ago, the Conference Board issued its monthly survey on consumer confidence, and in a mild surprise that New York City-based research organization reported a nominal uptick in consumer confidence in August.
Specifically, the Conference Board reported that its survey had shown an increase from an upwardly revised July reading of 81.0 to an estimated score of 81.5 in August. Initially, the July tabulation had been 80.3.
Importantly, this latest improvement put this key survey above 80 for three months in a row, suggesting that there may well be some staying power in the consumer end of the business recovery.
Meanwhile, in some closely tracked components of this report, The Present Situation Index decreased from 73.6 last month to 70.7 in August. That component is the weakest of the categories measured. On the other hand, The Expectations Index, which as its name implies is a more forward-looking metric, and is generally more positive in its outlook, rose nicely this month, pushing up from 86.0 to 88.7.
According to the Conference Board's executives: "Consumer Confidence increased slightly in August, a result of improving short-term expectations. Consumers are moderately more upbeat about business, job, and earning prospects.''
Breaking the report down further, consumers' outlook for the labor market remained upbeat, with those expecting more jobs in the months ahead increasing, while those fearful that jobs will decrease in magnitude decreased somewhat. Consumers who expect their incomes to rise in the months ahead also became more numerous.
Taken together, this was an encouraging report, and one, which suggests that the consumer is still in there pitching as the economic expansion presses further along.
At the time of this article's writing, the author did not have positions in any of the companies mentioned.