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U.S. Consumer Confidence Surges in July

While confidence took a small hit in June (124.3), it rose 11.4 points this month to 135.7, and results should “continue to support robust spending in the near-term.”

BOSTON – The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rebounded 11.4 points in July following a decrease in June.

The Index now stands at 135.7, up from 124.3 in June. The Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of today’s business and labor market conditions – increased from 164.3 to 170.9. The Expectations Index – based on consumers’ short-term future outlook for income, business and labor market conditions – increased from 97.6 last month to 112.2 this month.

“After a sharp decline in June driven by an escalation in trade and tariff tensions, Consumer Confidence rebounded in July to its highest level this year,” says Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers are once again optimistic about current and prospective business and labor market conditions. In addition, their expectations regarding their financial outlook also improved. These high levels of confidence should continue to support robust spending in the near-term despite slower growth in GDP.”

Current conditions
Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions improved. Those claiming business conditions are “good” increased from 37.5% to 40.1%; however, those saying business conditions are “bad” also increased slightly, from 10.6% to 11.2%.

Consumers’ appraisal of the job market was also more favorable. Those saying jobs are “plentiful” increased from 44.0% to 46.2%, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” declined from 15.8% to 12.8%.

Future expectations
Consumers were also more optimistic about the short-term outlook. The percentage expecting business conditions to be better six months from now increased from 19.1% to 24.0%, while those expecting business conditions to get worse declined from 12.6% to 8.7%.

Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also more upbeat. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 17.5% to 20.5%, while those anticipating fewer jobs decreased from 13.9% to 11.5%. Regarding short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement increased from 20.5% to 24.7%, while the proportion expecting a decrease declined from 7.5% to 6.3%.

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a probability-design random sample conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was July 18.

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