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United States Consumer Confidence

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index Monthly Update

United States Consumer Confidence

Consumer Confidence

05/30/2017

The latest Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index was released on Tuesday, May 30 based on data collected through May 18. Consumer confidence unexpectedly slips for the second consecutive month. Though still high, American optimism begins to wane after a huge burst of confidence earlier in the year.

The Index which hit a 16-year high just three months earlier, slipped again as Americans tempered their expectations for the economy. Some economists were expecting the index to drop slightly to 119.8 for the month of May. The Index now stands at a preliminary 117.9, down 1.5 points from the downward revision of 119.4 in April.

“Consumer confidence decreased slightly in May, following a moderate decline in April,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “However, consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions held steady, suggesting little change in overall economic conditions. Looking ahead, consumers were somewhat less upbeat than in April, but overall remain optimistic that the economy will continue expanding into the summer months.” 

Americans assessment of the labor market remained somewhat positive. Those surveyed stating jobs are “plentiful” slipped from 30.3 percent to 29.9 percent while persons claiming jobs are “hard to get decreased from 19.4 percent to 18.2 percent.

The outlook for the labor market was mixed. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead declined from 21.9 percent to 18.6 percent, but those anticipating fewer jobs decreased from 13.8 percent to 12.0 percent.

Consumer confidence for June 2017 will be released on Tuesday, June 27, 2017.

Consumer confidence is a key measure of consumer’s attitudes. The survey, a closely followed barometer of consumer attitudes, measures confidence toward business conditions, short-term outlook, personal finances and jobs. In other words it measures the degree of optimism that consumers feel about the overall state of the economy and their personal financial situation. If consumer confidence is high, consumers are more likely to make purchases. Vice-versa, if consumer confidence is low, consumers are more likely to save and spend less.