The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, which was flat in April, rebounded sharply in May.
The Index now stands at 144.4 (1985=100), up from 137.7 in April. The gain was caused by a rise in both components of the Index. The Present Situation Index rose to 183.1, up from 179.8 in April. The Expectations Index hit 118.7 in May, up from 109.7 last month.
The Consumer Confidence Index is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference Board by NFO Research Inc., an NFO Worldwide Company, based in Greenwich, Connecticut.
CONFIDENCE WILL STAY STRONG THROUGH THE SUMMER
“With unemployment at a 30-year low and the short-term Conference Board forecast projecting favorable labor market conditions, confidence is expected to remain strong through the summer,” says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board’s Consumer Research Center. “Volatile financial markets and interest rate hikes are not expected to have a significant impact on consumers’ spirits.”
Consumers’ assessment of current business conditions is upbeat in May. The percentage of consumers calling business conditions “good” edged up to 44.7 percent in May, from 44.5 percent last month. Those rating conditions as “bad” declined to 7 percent, from 8.4 percent in April. Consumers claiming jobs were “hard to get” dropped to 11.4 percent, from 12.1 percent in April.
The percentage of consumers expecting improved business conditions over the next six months jumped to 18.8 percent, up from 15.5 percent in April. The proportion expecting conditions to worsen declined to 4.8 percent from 5.3 percent. The job outlook was also more favorable. The percentage of consumers expecting more jobs to become available in the coming months rose to 19.7 percent from 16.5 percent in April. Those expecting fewer jobs to become available declined to 10.2 percent from 11.7 percent. Income prospects are also more optimistic today than in April. Now, 26.7 percent of consumers anticipate an increase in their income, up from 24.6 percent in April.Details