The Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence amply beat forecasts in August, coming in at 101.5 (forecast: 93.0; consensus: 93.4) compared to an upwardly revised July reading of 91.0 (initial: 90.9). This is the highest level since last January. Expectations rose to 92.5 (previous: 82.3), a sharp bounce back from July’s weak reading. The present situation component rose to 115.1 in August from a previous 104.0. The positive evolution of these indicators is the direct result of the improvement in the country’s labour market conditions. Moreover, the increase in confidence was spread across all income groups, with those making less than $50k per year showing the biggest improvement.
For Barclays analysts:
the rebound in this month’s survey is reassuring given the recent volatility in financial markets and the sharp decline in confidence observed last month, which was driven in part by concerns over Chinese growth. In addition, after a weak employment outlook last month, consumers were considerably more confident in the job market in August. Of course, this month’s survey predominantly reflects data collected before the recent fall in equity markets.