The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in May, improved further in June. The Index now stands at 105.8 (1985=100), up from 103.1 in May. The Present Situation Index increased to 120.7 from 117.8. The Expectations Index rose to 95.8 from 93.4 last month.
“This month’s gain in Consumer Confidence has propelled the Index to a three-year high,” said Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board’s Consumer Research Center. “The improvement in consumers’ mood suggests that business activity and labor market activity will continue to pick up over the next several months. And, with consumers in better spirits, and job concerns remaining relatively steady, there is little reason to expect a dramatic shift in consumers’ spending.”
Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions improved in June. Those claiming business conditions are “bad” edged down to 15.5% from 16.4%. Those claiming conditions are “good” was virtually unchanged at 26.9%.
The employment picture also showed signs of improvement. Consumers saying jobs are “hard to get” decreased to 22.6% from 24.1%, but those claiming jobs are “plentiful” was virtually unchanged at 22.6%. For the first time in nearly three years, the percentage of consumers saying jobs are “hard to get” does not exceed the percentage saying jobs are “plentiful.”
Consumers were more upbeat about the six-month outlook than last month. Those anticipating business conditions to worsen eased to 9% from 9.5%. Consumers expecting business conditions to improve was virtually unchanged at 19.2%. The outlook for the labor market, however, was much the same as in May. Consumers expecting more jobs to become available in the coming months remained at 15.2%, while those expecting fewer jobs edged up to 16.5%. The proportion of consumers anticipating their incomes to increase in the months ahead jumped to 19.4% from 17.8% last month.
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 NFO. The cutoff date for June’s preliminary results was June 21.