Consumer Confidence Posts Strong Outlook

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Tuesday morning already brought a higher than expected durable goods economic report. Now we have a consumer confidence reading from the Conference Board, covering the month of May. Confidence rose to 83.0 in May from 81.7 in April.

Both major components rose as well. The Present Situation Index rose to 80.4 in May from 78.5 in April. The Expectations Index rose to 84.8 from 83.9 the prior month.

Investors may want to keep in mind that the cutoff date for the preliminary results was May 14, and it is now May 27.

Several factors were cited in the commentary. Among them were consumers assessing current conditions and the labor market more favorably. Expectations regarding the short-term outlook for the economy, jobs and personal finances were also more upbeat. The Conference Board also said that the percentage of consumers expecting their incomes to grow over the next six months is the highest since December 2007 — at 20.2%.

Two other key figures in the report were as follows:

  • Those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months rose up to 17.5% from 17.2%, while those expecting business conditions to worsen decreased marginally to 10.2% from 10.5%.
  • Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead rose to 15.4% from 14.7%, while those anticipating fewer jobs rose to 18.3% from 18.0%.

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