Consumers express modest uptick in confidence


In its latest check of the pulse of the consuming public, the Conference Board found some pessimism about the current state of affairs, but an improved sense of where things are going. The Consumer Confidence Index® improved August over July, moving from 51.0 to 53.5. CB said the number was consistent with August 2009, when it stood at 54.5.

The Present Situation Index suffered a loss, going from 26.4 to 24.9, but the Expectations Index more than made up for it, rising from 67.5 to 72.5.

Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, commented, “Consumer confidence posted a modest gain in August, the result of an improvement in consumers’ short-term outlook. Consumers’ assessment of current conditions, however, was less favorable as employment concerns continue to weigh heavily on consumers’ attitudes. Expectations about future business and labor market conditions have brightened somewhat, but overall, consumers remain apprehensive about the future.  All in all, consumers are about as confident today as they were a year ago.”

Most seem to be expecting more of the same over the next six months. Only 17% think that the business climate is going to improve, but on the other hand, only 13.4% think its going to get worse.