The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased in August, following a modest increase in July. The Index stands at 133.4, up from 127.9 in July. The Present Situation Index improved from 166.1 to 172.2, while the Expectations Index increased from 102.4 last month to 107.6 this month.
The August Index reached its highest level since October 2000 and suggests solid economic growth for the remainder of 2018, according to Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.
The group reported the following results for August:
Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions improved further in August. Those stating business conditions are “good” increased from 38.1 percent to 40.3 percent, while those saying business conditions are “bad” declined from 10.3 percent to 9.1 percent. Consumers’ appraisal of the labor market was also more favorable. Those claiming jobs are “plentiful” was virtually unchanged at 42.7 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” declined from 14.8 percent to 12.7 percent.
Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook bounced back in August. The percentage of consumers anticipating business conditions will improve over the next six months increased from 22.9 percent to 24.3 percent, but those expecting business conditions will worsen marginally rose, from 10.3 percent to 10.5 percent.
Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was mixed. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead decreased from 22.6 percent to 21.7 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs also decreased, from 15.2 percent to 14.1 percent. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement rose from 20.4 percent to 25.5 percent, while the proportion expecting a decrease declined, from 9.4 percent to 7 percent.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was August 17.