The Conference Board (08/25/2015)
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rebounded in August, now standing at 101.5, up from the decline to 91.0 in July. The Present Situation Index increased by 11.1 to hit 115.1 in August, and the Expectations Index also improved, going from 82.3 in July to 92.5 this month. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions was considerably more upbeat,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board. Franco attributed this shift in attitude to “a more favorable appraisal of the labor market.” Those saying business conditions are “bad” declined modestly from 18.2% to 17.6%, and those saying conditions are “good” decreased only slightly from 23.4% to 23.2%. Consumers present positive evaluations of the job market as well, with 21.9% stating jobs are “plentiful,” up from July’s 19.9%. Those claiming jobs are “hard to get” decreased notably from 27.4% to 21.9%.
Consumers’ short-term outlook also improved in August. Consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased from 15.3% to 15.8%, while those expecting business conditions to worsen correspondingly declined from 10.3% to 8.3%. There was also a more positive outlook regarding the labor market. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead increased from 13.7% to 14.6%, and consumers expecting a decline in their income decreased from 11.3% to 10.0%.