Consumer Confidence Index rises

A monthly measure of consumer confidence has increased on more upbeat assessments of current business and labor conditions.

The Conference Board reported that its Consumer Confidence Index rose 1.3 points to 118.9 in June.

A measure of the index tracking consumer assessments of current business and labor conditions jumped nearly six points to 146.3, the highest reading in nearly 16 years. A measure tracking expectations slipped 1.7 points to 100.6.

“Overall, consumers anticipate the economy will continue expanding in the months ahead, but they do not foresee the pace of growth accelerating,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board.

The business research and membership group bases the index on the results of monthly household surveys. Economists monitor the index because consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of economic activity in the country.

For June, consumers were more optimistic about current business and labor conditions.

The proportion of those who responded to the survey upon which the June index was based who described business conditions as “good” rose a point to 30.8 percent. The share of those who called conditions “bad” fell 1.2 points to 12.7 percent.

The proportion of consumers who characterized jobs as “plentiful” rose 2.8 points to 32.8 percent. The share of those who said jobs were “hard to get” slipped three-tenths of a point to 18 percent.

Consumers were less upbeat in their short-term outlook.

The share of consumers who said they expect business conditions to improve over the next six months fell 1.1 points to 20.4 percent. The proportion of those anticipating worsening conditions also fell, though, four-tenths of a point to 9.9 percent.

The share of consumers who expect more jobs to become available in coming months rose seven-tenths of a point to 19.3 percent. But the proportion of those predicting fewer jobs also increased  — 2.5 points to 14.6 percent.

While 22.2 percent of consumers said they expect their incomes to increase, up 3.1 points from May, 9.2 percent said they anticipate less income, a gain of a half point.