Consumer Confidence Index Declines in May
May 31, 2011,
NEW YORK-The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had improved in April, decreased in May. The Index now stands at 60.8, down from 66.0 in April. The Present Situation Index decreased to 39.3 from 40.2. The Expectations Index declined to 75.2 from 83.2 last month.
"A more pessimistic outlook is the primary reason for this month's decline in consumer confidence," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "Consumers are considerably more apprehensive about future business and labor market conditions as well as their income prospects. Inflation concerns, which had eased last month, have picked up once again. On the other hand, consumers' assessment of current conditions declined only modestly, suggesting no significant pickup or deterioration in the pace of growth."
Consumers' short-term outlook, which had improved marginally in April, turned pessimistic in May, according to the Conference Board. The proportion of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months declined to 17.0 percent from 19.2 percent, while those anticipating business conditions will worsen increased to 15.5 percent from 14.0 percent.
Consumers were also pessimistic about the labor market outlook for the next six months. Those expecting more jobs in the months ahead declined to 15.9 percent from 17.8 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs increased to 20.8 percent from 18.7 percent. The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes declined to 14.8 percent from 17.0 percent.