The report on consumer confidence from The Conference Board is looking much better than expected for the month of September. Today’s Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rose to 70.3 in September, after improving from 61.3 in August. Bloomberg had a consensus expectation of 64.8 and a range of 61.5 to 68.0 from its polled economists. It is probably worth noting that the cutoff date for the preliminary results was September 13.
Other components led the way as the Expectations Index rose to 83.7 in September from 71.1 in August, while the Present Situation Index rose up to 50.2 from 46.5.
The Conference Board said that the Confidence Index rebounded back to levels seen earlier this year and referred back to a reading of 71.6 in February of this year for a comparison. Its observation was that consumers were more positive in their assessment of current conditions and even on the job market. Another good bit of news was that consumers were considerably more optimistic about the short-term outlook for business conditions, employment and their financial situation. Here were some additional points:
- Those claiming business conditions are “good” edged up to 15.5% from 15.3%.
- Those saying business conditions are “bad” declined to 33.3% from 34.3%.
- Those stating jobs are “plentiful” rose to 8.3% from 7.2%.
- Those claiming jobs are “hard to get” edged down to 39.9% from 40.6%.
JON C. OGG