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The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased in May, following a modest decline in April. The Index now stands at 128, up from 125.6 in April. The Present Situation Index increased from 157.5 to 161.7, while the Expectations Index improved from 104.3 last month to 105.6 this month.
Consumers’ assessment of current conditions increased to a 17-year high during the month, though short-term expectations improved only modestly. Overall, The Conference Board said confidence levels remain at “historically strong levels” and should continue to support solid consumer spending in the near-term.
Other survey results for May include:
Those surveyed claiming that business conditions are "good" increased from 34.8 percent to 38.4 percent during the month, while those claiming business conditions are "bad" decreased from 12.3 percent to 12 percent. Consumers' assessment of the labor market was somewhat mixed. The percentage of consumers stating jobs are "plentiful" improved from 38.2 percent to 42.4 percent, while those claiming jobs are "hard to get" also increased, from 15.5 percent to 15.8 percent.
Consumers were modestly more positive about the short-term outlook in May. The percentage of consumers anticipating business conditions will improve over the next six months decreased from 23.6 percent to 23.1 percent, while those expecting business conditions will worsen also decreased, from 9.8 percent to 8.3 percent.
Consumers' outlook for the labor market was mixed. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 18.6 percent to 19.7 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs also increased, from 13.2 percent to 13.9 percent. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement declined, from 21.8 percent to 21.3 percent, while the proportion expecting a decrease rose from 7.9 percent to 8.2 percent.