Consumer Confidence in U.S. Little Changed Near Five-Month High

  • Report shows a little more optimistism about job market
  • Attitudes about present situation at highest since September

Consumer confidence was little changed in July as Americans remained positive about the job market and the business environment, according to a report from the New York-based Conference Board on Tuesday.

Key Points

  • Confidence index eased to 97.3 from a revised 97.4 in June, which was the highest since January; median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists was 96
  • Measure of consumer expectations for the next six months dipped to 83.3 from 84.6
  • Present conditions gauge climbed to 118.3, the highest since September, from 116.6 in June

Big Picture

Consumer sentiment has stabilized despite growing uncertainty over global development and the U.S. elections. That bodes well for household spending, which accounts for almost 70 percent of the economy.

Economist Takeaways

"Consumers were slightly more positive about current business and labor market conditions, suggesting the economy will continue to expand at a moderate pace," Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, said in a statement.

The Details

  • Consumers were a little more optimistic about jobs, and some 14 percent said more jobs will be available in six months, up from 13.9 percent in June
  • The share of Americans who see their incomes increasing in the next six months fell to 16.6 percent from 18.2 percent
  • The report also showed 15.9 percent of respondents said they saw an improvement in business conditions in the next six months, down from 16.6 percent last month
  • Plans for buying major appliances and homes improved, while fewer respondents indicated they plan to buy an automobile in the next six months
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