An unexpected rebound in U.S. consumer confidence reflects a buoyant labor market and improved business conditions, though Americans are slightly less optimistic about where things will be in six months, data from the New York-based Conference Board showed June 27.
Highlights of Consumer Confidence include:
• Confidence index rose to 118.9 (estimated 116) from 117.6 in May.
• Present conditions measure increased to 146.3, highest since July 2001, from 140.6.
• Gauge of consumer expectations for the next six months fell to 100.6, lowest since January, from 102.3.
Americans are drawing encouragement from an economy that continues to provide jobs, rising stock and home prices and steady pay gains, as the share of respondents expecting higher incomes was the second-highest since 2002. At the same time, the easing of the overall expectations index adds to other sentiment figures that suggest mounting skepticism about the ability of Washington lawmakers to enact economic policies that will drive growth.
“Expectations for the short term have eased somewhat but are still upbeat,” Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, said in a statement. “Overall, consumers anticipate the economy will continue expanding in the months ahead, but they do not foresee the pace of growth accelerating.”
• Measure of the outlook for income improved; expectations for business conditions and employment were mixed.
• Labor differential, measuring share of those saying jobs are plentiful minus the share saying they’re hard to get, widened to 14.8 points, highest since August 2001.
• Buying plans were little changed for automobiles and homes; rose for major appliances.