The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index came in basically flat for July, the organization announced, following gains in each of the prior five months.
The Index now stands at 129.1, in positive territory from a baseline of 100 and up slightly from 128.9 in June. The Present Situation Index, which is based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions, rose from 159.6 to 160.3. The Expectations Index, based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions, was essentially unchanged at 108.4 versus the 108.5 June reading.
Although flat in July, consumer confidence remains at its highest level since February 2020, when it registered 132.6, Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board stated, adding, “Consumers’ appraisal of present-day conditions held steady, suggesting economic growth in Q3 is off to a strong start. Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook didn’t waver, and they continued to expect that business conditions, jobs, and personal financial prospects will improve. Short-term inflation expectations eased slightly but remained elevated. Spending intentions picked up in July, with a larger percentage of consumers saying they planned to purchase homes, automobiles, and major appliances in the coming months. Thus, consumer spending should continue to support robust economic growth in the second half of 2021.”