The Quikrete Industry Dashboard: Confidence update

Gas prices decline, Consumer Confidence Index dips
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The latest Quikrete Industry Dashboard shows gas prices, as measured by the American Automobile Association, down 60 cents from a month ago. A gallon of regular sells for an average of $4.28.

Note: One year ago, the same gallon sold for $3.16.

High energy costs and general price inflation are factors weighing on the closely watched Consumer Confidence Index, released Tuesday by the New York-based Conference Board.

The index decreased in July, following a larger decline in June. The Index now stands at 95.7 (1985=100), down 2.7 points from 98.4 in June.

“Consumer confidence fell for a third consecutive month in July,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “The decrease was driven primarily by a decline in the Present Situation Index—a sign growth has slowed at the start of Q3. The Expectations Index held relatively steady, but remained well below a reading of 80, suggesting recession risks persist. Concerns about inflation—rising gas and food prices, in particular—continued to weigh on consumers.”

Meanwhile, after struggling most of the year, the stock market finished the week on a strong note. Eight of the 10 ticker symbols tracked by HBSDealer are up for the month, with three up double digits.

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Coming next: The Bureau of Labor Statistics will report the national unemployment rate Aug. 5. The unemployment rate has held steady at 3.6. percent for the last three months.