Consumer Confidence in Early Summer Slump

The June data for Nielson’s Consumer Confidence Index is in, and the numbers are less than inspiring for the economy’s recovery prospects. For the month of June, the index was at 58.5 v. expected 60.5 (1985=100), down from 61.7 in the month of May. Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center comments, “This month’s decline in consumer confidence was driven by a less favorable assessment of current conditions and continued pessimism about the short-term outlook. Consumers rated both current business and labor market conditions less favorably than in May, and fewer consumers than last month foresee conditions improving over the next six months. Inflation fears eased considerably in June, but concerns about income prospects increased. Given the combination of uneasiness about the economic outlook and future earnings, consumers are likely to continue weighing their spending decisions quite carefully.”

More on the numbers from the report; Persons claiming business conditions were “good” at 14.3% level with May, while persons claiming business conditions were “bad” up to 38% in June from 37.2% last month. On the jobs front the situation also continued to worsen for consumers with persons stating jobs are “hard to get” up to 43.8% from 43.5% in May, and persons stating jobs are “plentiful” down to 5.2% from 5.75 last month. Future outlook continues to remain weak among consumers, with 16.4% of persons expecting business conditions to improve in the short-term, down from 17.2% last month. One relieving statistic, 14.7% of those interviewed in June expect business conditions to worsen, compared to 15.4% in the May Survey.

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