Consumer Confidence Index Declines in June

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had declined in May, declined even further in June. The Index now stands at 50.4 (1985=100), down from 58.1 in May. The Present Situation Index decreased to 64.5 from 74.2. The Expectations Index declined to 41 from 47.3 in May.

“This month’s Consumer Confidence Index is the fifth lowest reading ever,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. “Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions continues to grow more negative and suggests the economy remains stuck in low gear. Looking ahead, consumers’ economic outlook is so bleak that the Expectations Index has reached a new all-time low. Perhaps the silver lining to this otherwise dismal report is that consumer confidence may be nearing a bottom.”

Consumers’ assessment of present conditions grew dimmer in June. Those claiming business conditions are “bad” increased to 32.5 percent from 29.7 percent, while those claiming business conditions are “good” declined to 11.5 percent from 13 percent last month. Consumers’ appraisal of the job market was also more pessimistic. Those saying jobs are “hard to get” increased to 30.5 percent from 28.3 percent in May. Those claiming jobs are “plentiful” declined to 14.1 percent from 16.1 percent.

Consumers’ short-term expectations deteriorated further in June. Those expecting business conditions to worsen over the next six months rose to 33.9 percent from 32.9 percent, while those anticipating business conditions to improve decreased to 8.8 percent from 10.6 percent in May.

The outlook for the labor market was also more pessimistic. The percent of consumers expecting fewer jobs in the months ahead increased to 35.5 percent from 32.3 percent, while those anticipating more jobs declined to 8 percent from 9 percent. The proportion of consumers expecting their incomes to increase declined to 12.3 percent from 14.1 percent.

The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference Board by TNS, a custom research company. The cutoff date for June’s preliminary results was June 18.