NEW YORK – Aug. 29, 2017 – The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index improved in August (to 122.9) following an increase in July (to 120.0). A boost in optimism for current conditions fueled the gain, as the Present Situation Index rose to 151.2 from 145.4.
"Consumer confidence increased in August following a moderate improvement in July," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. "Consumers' more buoyant assessment of present-day conditions was the primary driver of the boost in confidence, with the Present Situation Index continuing to hover at a 16-year high (July 2001, 151.3). Consumers' short-term expectations were relatively flat, though still optimistic, suggesting that they do not anticipate an acceleration in the pace of economic activity in the months ahead."
Consumers' assessment of current conditions
Those saying business conditions are "good" increased from 32.5 percent to 34.5 percent, while those saying business conditions are "bad" eased from 13.5 percent to 13.1 percent.
Consumers' assessment of the labor market was also more upbeat. Those stating jobs are "plentiful" rose from 33.2 percent to 35.4 percent, while those claiming jobs are "hard to get" decreased from 18.7 percent to 17.3 percent.
Consumers' assessment of the near-term future
Consumers' optimism about the short-term outlook stayed relatively flat in August. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased from 22.4 percent to 19.6 percent, but those expecting business conditions to worsen declined from 8.4 percent to 7.3 percent.
Consumers' outlook for the labor market was also mixed. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead declined from 18.5 percent to 17.1 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs decreased marginally from 13.2 percent to 13.0 percent.
Regarding their future income prospects, consumers were more positive this month. The percentage of consumers expecting an improvement increased moderately from 20.0 percent to 20.9 percent, while the proportion expecting a decline decreased from 9.5 percent to 7.8 percent.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was August 16.
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