Consumer Confidence at Surprising Post-Recession High

Print Email

The Conference Board has released its consumer confidence reading for the month of June. This report is much broader in the sampling than the consumer sentiment report from the University of Michigan, and the number comes without quite as much controversy as well. It was such a big upside surprise that we cannot help but wonder if the polls were taken today whether the numbers would be anywhere close, considering the drop in stock prices and the loss in face value of bonds driving yields up.

June’s reading was 81.4, much higher than the consensus figure of 75.5 from Dow Jones and the expected 75.0 from Bloomberg. The only real drop was that the May report was revised lower down to 74.3 from an original report of 76.2. The Present Situation Index rose to 69.2 from 64.8, and the Expectations Index rose even more up to 89.5 from 80.6 last month.

As far as why we wonder if this report is as “live” as the current markets are concerned, the reason is that the cutoff date for the preliminary results was June 13. This was the third straight increase and was the highest reading going back to January 2008. On June 13 the DJIA was at 15,176.08 and it closed at 14,659.56 yesterday. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was at 2.17%, and that hit a high of 2.66% just yesterday.

Here are two subgroups reports:

  • Those stating business conditions are “good” held steady at 19.1%, while those saying business conditions are “bad” decreased to 24.9% from 26.0%.
  • Those claiming jobs are “plentiful” increased to 11.7% from 9.9%, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” edged up to 36.9% from 36.4%.

The Conference Board said:

Consumers are considerably more positive about current business and labor market conditions than they were at the beginning of the year. Expectations have also improved considerably over the past several months, suggesting that the pace of growth is unlikely to slow in the short-term, and may even moderately pick up.