U.S. consumer confidence increases moderately in June

Consumer confidence increased in June as consumers' appraisal of current conditions and assessment of the labor market improved, according to The Conference Board.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index® increased to 118.9, up from 117.6 in May. A reading of 90 or higher indicates a healthy economy.

The index measures how shoppers feel about business conditions, the job market and the next six months. Economists watch the index closely because consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity and is a crucial part of a strong rebound.

The percentage of consumers saying business conditions are "good" increased from 29.8 percent to 30.8 percent, while those saying business conditions are "bad" declined from 13.9 percent to 12.7 percent. Consumers' assessment of the labor market also was more positive. Those stating jobs are "plentiful" increased from 30 percent to 32.8 percent, while those claiming jobs are "hard to get" decreased from 18.3 percent to 18 percent.

Consumers were less optimistic about the short-term outlook in June. Those expecting business conditions to improve during the next six months decreased from 21.5 percent to 20.4 percent; however, those expecting business conditions to worsen declined marginally from 10.3 percent to 9.9 percent.

Consumers' outlook for the labor market remained mixed. Those expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 18.6 percent to 19.3 percent, but those anticipating fewer jobs also increased—from 12.1 percent to 14.6 percent.

"Consumer confidence increased moderately in June following a small decline in May," says Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. "Consumers' assessment of current conditions improved to a nearly 16-year high (July 2001, 151.3). Expectations for the short-term have eased somewhat but are still upbeat. Overall, consumers anticipate the economy will continue expanding in the months ahead, but they do not foresee the pace of growth accelerating."

Date : 6/29/2017