U.S. jobs boost consumer confidence

Consumer confidence in the U.S. moved to a near 16 year high in July amid optimism over the labour market. The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index surged to 121.1 this month from 117.3 in June. The rise in confidence came despite the healthcare impasse in Washington. “Consumer confidence increased in July following a marginal decline in June,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions remained at a 16-year high (July 2001, 151.3) and their expectations for the short-term outlook improved somewhat after cooling last month. Overall, consumers foresee the current economic expansion continuing well into the second half of this year.”

Assessment by consumers on the current condition improved in July with some relaying business conditions are ‘good’. This proportion of consumers with this notion increased from 30.6% to 33.3% while those saying business conditions are bad remained unchanged at 13.5%. consumers’ appraisal of the labour market also improved with those stating that jobs are “plentiful” increase from 32% to 34.1%. Additionally, the portion of those claiming jobs are “hard to get” decreased slightly from 18.4% to 18%.

Consumers’ outlook on the labour market improved. The quantity expecting more jobs in the coming months was unchanged at 19.2%, however those antedating fewer jobs declined from 14.6% to 13.3%. According to the Consumer Confidence Survey, “Consumers, however, were not as upbeat about their income prospects as in June. The percentage of consumers expecting an improvement in their income declined moderately from 20.9 percent to 20.0 percent, while the proportion expecting a decline increased from 9.3 percent to 10.0 percent.”





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