U.S. Consumer Confidence Shows Modest Rebound In July

After reporting an unexpected deterioration in U.S. consumer confidence in the previous month, the Conference Board released a report on Tuesday showing a modest rebound in consumer confidence in the month of July.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index inched up to 127.4 in July from an upwardly revised 127.1 in June. Economists had expected the index to rise to 127.0 from the 126.4 originally reported for the previous month.

“Consumer confidence gained marginal ground in July, after a modest decline in June,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at the Conference Board.

The uptick by the headline index reflected an improvement in consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions, with the present situation index climbing to 165.9 in July from 161.7 in June.

The percent of consumers saying business conditions are “good” rose to 38.0 percent from 37.2 percent, while those saying conditions are “bad” dipped to 10.1 percent from 11.5 percent.

Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was also more favorable, with those claiming jobs are “plentiful” increasing to 43.1 percent from 40.4 percent. Consumers claiming jobs are “hard to get” was virtually unchanged at 15.0 percent.

Meanwhile, the report showed a continued drop in consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook, as the expectations index fell to 101.7 in July from 104.0 in June.

“While expectations continue to reflect optimism in the short-term economic outlook, back-to-back declines suggest consumers do not foresee growth accelerating,” Franco said.

The decrease by the expectations index came as the percentage of consumers anticipating business conditions will improve over the next six months rose to 23.1 percent from 20.7 percent, but those expecting conditions will worsen also climbed to 10.8 percent from 9.3 percent.

The Conference Board said consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also mixed, with the proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead edging up to 22.5 percent from 20.0 percent and those anticipating fewer jobs also rising to 15.7 percent from 13.1 percent.

Last Friday, the University of Michigan released a separate report showing consumer sentiment in the U.S. deteriorated by less than initially estimated in the month of July.

The report said the consumer sentiment index for July was upwardly revised to 97.9 from the preliminary reading of 97.1. Despite the upward revision, the index was still down slightly from 98.2 in June.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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