Consumer Confidence Visits Recovery Road

The Conference Board’s report on consumer confidence is showing that consumers are magically more confident. The report for July posted a big jump to 65.9, which was well above estimates. Bloomberg had the consensus economist target at 61.5, and it had a rather wide range of 59.0 to 65.0. The report for June was down by 2.4 points to a reading of 62.0. That had been the fourth month in a row for declines.

We would note that there is a mix in the components of the report:

  • The Expectations Index managed to rise to 79.1 from 73.4.
  • The Present Situation Index fell slightly to 46.2 from 46.6 a month ago.

The Conference Board’s comments show much more caution that hope. Despite this month’s improvement, the reported comments show that the overall index remains at historically low levels as consumers are little changed currently. Their short-term expectations did manage to bounce back after a dip the prior month. While consumers expressed greater optimism about short-term business and employment prospects, they have still managed to grow more pessimistic about their earnings.