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In The News:

Consumer Confidence Up Slightly in July

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased marginally in July, following a modest decline in June. The Index now stands at 127.4, up from 127.1 in June. The Present Situation Index improved from 161.7 to 165.9, while the Expectations Index declined from 104 last month to 101.7 this month.

The group reported the following results for July:

  • Consumers' assessment of current conditions improved further in July. Those stating business conditions are "good" increased from 37.2 percent to 38 percent, while those saying business conditions are "bad" declined from 11.5 percent to 10.1 percent. Consumers' assessment of the labor market was also more favorable. Those claiming jobs are "plentiful" increased from 40.4 percent to 43.1 percent, while those claiming jobs are "hard to get" was virtually unchanged at 15 percent.

  • Consumers' optimism about the short-term outlook waned again in July. The percentage of consumers anticipating business conditions will improve over the next six months increased from 20.7 percent to 23.1 percent, but those expecting business conditions will worsen also rose, from 9.3 percent to 10.8 percent.

  • Consumers' outlook for the labor market was also mixed. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 20 percent to 22.5 percent, but those anticipating fewer jobs also increased, from 13.1 percent to 15.7 percent. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement rose from 19.7 percent to 20.8 percent, but the proportion expecting a decrease also rose, from 7.9 percent to 9.2 percent.

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