Consumer confidence bounced back in July, after slumping in June amid concerns about trade wars and tariffs.
The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index is now at 135.7, up from 124.3 in June. The Present Situation Index, which is based on consumers’ assessment of business conditions and the labor market, rose from 164.3 to 170.9. The Expectations Index, based on people’s short-term outlook for income, business and labor-market conditions, increased too, from 97.6 in June to 112.2 in July.
“After a sharp decline in June, driven by an escalation in trade and tariff tensions, consumer confidence rebounded in July to its highest level this year,” said Lynn Franco, the Conference Board's senior director of economic indicators. “Consumers are once again optimistic about current and prospective business and labor-market conditions. In addition, their expectations regarding their financial outlook also improved. These high levels of confidence should continue to support robust spending in the near term, despite slower growth in GDP.”
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey is conducted for the Conference Board by research and analytics firm Nielsen.
The percentage of consumers viewing business conditions as generally good increased, from 37.5 percent in June to 40.1 percent in July — though the proportion of those who see them as being bad rose slightly too, from 10.6 percent to 11.2 percent. The number of those who think jobs are plentiful went up, from 44 percent to 46.2 percent, and the respondents who say jobs are hard to get fell back, from 15.8 percent to 12.8 percent.
The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to be better six months from now rose considerably, from 19.1 percent to 24 percent, while those expecting things to worsen decreased, from 12.6 percent to 8.7 percent.
Those anticipating more jobs in the coming months increased from 17.5 percent to 20.5 percent, while those expecting fewer jobs decreased from 13.9 percent to 11.5 percent. When it comes to their short-term prospects, the proportion of consumers expecting an improvement went from 20.5 percent to 24.7 percent, while those anticipating a decline decreased from 7.5 percent to 6.3 percent.
By Edmund Mander