Reflecting pops in both current conditions and expectations, the Conference Board released a report on Tuesday showing U.S. consumer confidence improved by much more than expected in the month of July.
The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index jumped to 117.0 in July from an upwardly revised 110.1 in June. Economists had expected the index to climb to 111.8 from the 109.7 originally reported for the previous month.
With the much bigger than expected surge, the consumer confidence index reached its highest level since July 2021.
“Headline confidence appears to have broken out of the sideways trend that prevailed for much of the last year,” said Dana Peterson, Chief Economist at The Conference Board.
She added, “Greater confidence was evident across all age groups, and among both consumers earning incomes less than $50,000 and those making more than $100,000.”
The bigger than expected increase by the headline index came as the present situation index climbed to 160.0 in July from 155.3 in June, likely reflecting upbeat feelings about a labor market that continues to outperform.
Likely revealing consumers’ belief that labor market conditions will remain favorable, the expectations index also shot up to 88.3 in July from 80.0 in June.
“The proportion of consumers saying recession is ‘somewhat’ or ‘very likely’ to occur ticked up in July, contrary to the Expectations Index spiking this month above the threshold of 80,” Peterson said.
She continued, “Still, recession expectations remained below their recent peak, suggesting fears of a recession have eased relative to earlier this year.”
On Friday, the University of Michigan is scheduled to release its revised reading on consumer sentiment in the month of July.
The consumer sentiment index for July is expected to be unrevised at 72.6, which was up sharply from 64.4 in June.
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