Consumer confidence pushed ahead to a new post-recession high of 90.9 in July, its highest level since October 2007, The Conference Board reported this morning.
July's figure is also in comparison with an upwardly revised figure of 86.4 in June, where the previous post-recession high had stood.
“Consumer confidence increased for the third consecutive month and is now at its highest level since October 2007 (95.2)," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators for The Conference Board. "Strong job growth helped boost consumers’ assessment of current conditions, while brighter short-term outlooks for the economy and jobs, and to a lesser extent personal income, drove the gain in expectations. Recent improvements in consumer confidence, in particular expectations, suggest the recent strengthening in growth is likely to continue into the second half of this year.”
As Franco alluded to, the Present Situation Index increased to 88.3 from 86.3, even though fewer consumers described business conditions as "good." Those saying jobs were "plentiful" increased to 15.9% from 14.6%, as those claiming they were "hard to get" remained virtually unchanged at 30.7%.
Meanwhile, the Expectations Index enjoyed the bulk of the progress, up to 92.7 from 86.4. Those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased to 20.2% from 18.4%, with little change in the number of respondents expecting them to worsen. Those expecting more jobs in the near future also jumped by 2.8%, with a corresponding 2.0% decrease in those expecting fewer jobs. Additionally, a slightly larger number of consumers expect their incomes to grow.