Consumer Confidence Index rises
After two straight months of pandemic-induced declines, Consumer Confidence shut up beyond 100 for September.
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index released Tuesday shows a reading of 101.8 (1985=100), up from 86.3 in August. The Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions – increased from 85.8 to 98.5. The Expectations Index – based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions – increased from 86.6 in August to 104.0 this month.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was September 18.
“Consumer Confidence increased sharply in September, after back-to-back monthly declines, but remains below pre-pandemic levels,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “A more favorable view of current business and labor market conditions, coupled with renewed optimism about the short-term outlook, helped spur this month’s rebound in confidence. Consumers also expressed greater optimism about their short-term financial prospects, which may help keep spending from slowing further in the months ahead.”
Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions rebounded in September. The percentage of consumers claiming business conditions are “good” increased from 16.0% to 18.3%, while those claiming business conditions are “bad” decreased from 43.3% to 37.4%. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market also improved. The percentage of consumers saying jobs are “plentiful” increased from 21.4% to 22.9%, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” decreased from 23.6% to 20.0%.
Consumers were also more optimistic about the short-term outlook. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions will improve over the next six months increased from 29.8% to 37.1%, while those expecting business conditions will worsen decreased from 20.7% to 15.8%. Consumers were more positive about the outlook for the labor market. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 29.9% to 33.1%, while those anticipating fewer jobs decreased from 21.2% to 15.6%. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an increase improved from 13.0% to 17.5%, while the proportion expecting a decrease declined from 16.0% to 12.6%.