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Consumer Confidence Improved in August

Consumer Confidence Improved in August

Aug. 31, 2022
"August’s improvement in confidence may help support spending, but inflation and additional rate hikes still pose risks to economic growth in the short term,” said Lynn Franco of the Conference Board.

Welcome news from the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index as it showed an increase in August,  following three consecutive monthly declines.

The Index now stands at 103.2 (1985=100), up from 95.3 in July. 

“Consumer confidence increased in August after falling for three straight months,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, said in a statement. “The Present Situation Index recorded a gain for the first time since March. The Expectations Index likewise improved from July’s 9-year low, but remains below a reading of 80, suggesting recession risks continue. Concerns about inflation continued their retreat but remained elevated.”

“Meanwhile, purchasing intentions increased after a July pullback, and vacation intentions reached an 8-month high. Looking ahead, August’s improvement in confidence may help support spending, but inflation and additional rate hikes still pose risks to economic growth in the short term.”

Present Situation

Consumers’ appraisal of current business conditions was more favorable in August.

  • 19.2% of consumers said business conditions were “good,” up from 16.3%.
  • 23.2% of consumers said business conditions were “bad,” down from 24.2%.

Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was mixed.

  • 48.0% of consumers said jobs were “plentiful,” down from 49.2%.
  • However, 11.4% of consumers said jobs were “hard to get,” down from 12.4%.

Expectations Six Months Hence

Consumers were more positive about the short-term business conditions outlook in August.

  • 17.5% of consumers expect business conditions will improve, up from 13.7%.
  • 22.3% expect business conditions to worsen, down from 26.2%.

Consumers were more optimistic about the short-term labor market outlook.

  • 17.4% of consumers expect more jobs to be available, up from 15.1%.
  • 19.3% anticipate fewer jobs, down from 21.1%.

Consumers were more positive about their short-term financial prospects.

  • 15.8% of consumers expect their incomes to increase, up from 15.3%.
  • 14.5% expect their incomes will decrease, down from 15.5%.

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