Consumer Confidence Dips in July

Moderate economic expansion predicted for the next few months
July 27, 2016David Gill

ConferenceBoard3x2NEW YORK-With consumers presenting a slightly more negative view of the economy down the road, consumer confidence ebbed slightly in July.

The consumer confidence index, as provided by The Conference Board, fell 0.1 point to 97.3 in the latest survey conducted for the board by Nielsen. The expectations index, one of the component indexes feeding into the overall number, was down 1.3 points to 83.3. The present situation index, meanwhile, gained 1.7 points to 118.3.

Also in the survey, the percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased, while those expecting business conditions to worsen increased. Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was marginally more favorable than last month, with the proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead virtually unchanged and those anticipating fewer jobs decreasing. The percentage of consumers expecting their incomes to increase declined, but the proportion expecting a decrease also dropped.

Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions showed a slight improvement in July. Those stating business conditions are “good” increased, but so did those saying business conditions are “bad.” Consumers’ appraisal of the labor market was little changed from last month, with those claiming jobs are “plentiful” declining marginally but with those claiming jobs are “hard to get” also falling.

“Consumers were slightly more positive about current business and labor market conditions, suggesting the economy will continue to expand at a moderate pace,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “Expectations regarding business and labor market conditions, as well as personal income prospects, declined slightly as consumers remain cautiously optimistic about growth in the near term.”

David GillDavid Gill | Senior Editor

David Gill covers home textiles, small electrics housewares, personal-care products, cleaning products, mattresses, consumer electronics and major appliances. He also reports on retailers and writes about the business and financial side of both vendors and retailers. He has more than 30 years of experience in business journalism, and has worked for other publications and websites that cover consumer products from both the manufacturer and retailer sides. His outside interests include sports (he is a big fan of the New York teams and of British soccer), cooking, movies and theater. He occasionally enjoys a good cigar as well.


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