United States: Consumer confidence picks up in July
July 25, 2017
The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose from a revised 117.3 in June (previously reported: 118.9) to 121.1 in July, marking a high reading by historical standards and coming in substantially above market expectations of 116.5. The index remains firmly above the 100-point threshold that separates optimism from pessimism among consumers, who seemed to brush off political noise from Donald Trump’s administration and uncertainty over the government’s reform agenda, particularly plans to reform healthcare.
July’s headline figure reflected an improvement in consumers’ assessment of current economic conditions and the labor market, with the labor differential—the difference between the percentage of respondents that state that jobs are plentiful and those that say they are hard to get—widening in July. This was likely reflective of strong payroll growth, which will be confirmed in the employment report due to be released in the coming weeks. Consumers also grew more optimistic about the short-term outlook and business conditions over the next six months.
Author: David Ampudia, Economist