CONSUMER CONFIDENCE UNEXPECTEDLY RISES IN AUGUST

The Conference Board’s August consumer confidence report is out.

The headline index rose to 81.5 in August from an upward-revised 81.0 July reading.

Economists were predicting a decline to 79.0.

Below is the full text from the release:

NEW YORK, August 27, 2013…The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had declined in July, increased slightly in August. The Index now stands at 81.5 (1985=100), up from 81.0 in July. The Present Situation Index decreased to 70.7 from 73.6. The Expectations Index increased to 88.7 from 86.0 last month.

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey®, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was August 15.

Says Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators: “Consumer Confidence increased slightly in August, a result of improving short-term expectations. Consumers were moderately more upbeat about business, job and earning prospects. In fact, income expectations, which had declined sharply earlier this year with the payroll tax hike, have rebounded to their highest level in two and a half years. Consumers’ assessment of current business and labour market conditions, on the other hand, was somewhat less favourable than last month.”

Consumers’ assessment of current conditions moderately declined. Those stating business conditions are “good” decreased to 18.4 per cent from 20.8 per cent, while those stating business conditions are “bad” was virtually unchanged at 24.8 per cent. Consumers’ appraisal of the labour market was mixed. Those claiming jobs are “plentiful” decreased to 11.4 per cent from 12.3 per cent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” declined to 33.0 per cent from 35.2 per cent.

Consumers’ expectations, which had retreated in July, increased in August. Those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months edged up to 20.1 per cent from 19.9 per cent. Those expecting business conditions to worsen declined slightly to 11.1 per cent from 11.3 per cent.

Consumers’ outlook for the labour market remained upbeat. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead increased to 17.6 per cent from 16.7 per cent, while those anticipating fewer jobs edged down to 17.3 per cent from 17.7 per cent. The proportion of consumers expecting their incomes to increase improved to 17.4 per cent from 15.7 per cent. Those expecting a decrease declined slightly to 13.5 per cent from 13.7 per cent.

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