July Consumer Confidence

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index fell for the second month in a row in July.  The fall came as both the present situation and the expectation components of the survey deteriorated.
The Present Situation Index fell to 26.1 from 26.8.  The jobs portion of the Present Situation Index worsened as 45.8% of the respondents feel jobs are “hard to get;” this is up from 43.5% last month.  Those who feel jobs are “plentiful” remained the same at only 4.3%.  These numbers can be watched to help get an understanding of the health of our labor market but only tell us about how the consumer is feeling about the present.  The Conference Board’s Expectation Index, which provides us with a look at how consumers feel conditions will change in the next six months was off as well as it fell to 66.6 from 72.7 in June.   The job section of this component was down also.  Those expecting more jobs to be available in the months ahead fell to 14.2% from 16.2% in June, and respondents feeling their income would be higher in the near future contracted to 10% from 10.6%.  On a more positive note, those looking to buy a car and people that anticipate buying a major appliance in the next six months moved up to 4.5% from 4.1% and 28.5% from 23.7% respectively.
Let’s hope more people follow through on their anticipated purchases of big ticket items, allowing this indicator’s uptrend, which was broken last month, to be reinstated in August.  This would be the kind of boost our economy needs to experience.