Index: Consumer confidence rebounds

A measure of consumer confidence has rebounded, but signals neither improving nor deteriorating business and labor conditions in the months ahead.

“Overall, consumers remain cautiously optimisic about economic growth in the short-term,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board.

The Conference Board reported that its Consumer Confidence Index rose 5.6 points to 98 in June. Components of the index tracking the present situation and expectations both increased.

“Consumers were less negative about current business and labor market conditions, but only moderately more positive, suggesting no deterioration in economic conditions, but no strengthening either,” Franco said. “Expectations regarding business and labor market conditions, as well as personal income prospects, improved moderately.”

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

For June, more optimistic assessments of current business and labor conditions pushed up the present situation component of the index 5.1 points to 118.3.

The propotion of consumers responding to the survey upon which the index was based who described business conditions as “good” rose eight-tenths of a point to 26.9 percent. The share of those who called business conditions “bad” fell 3.7 points to 17.7 points.

The proportion of consumers who called jobs “plentiful” fell 1.1 points to 23.4 percent. But those who said jobs are “hard to get” fell 1.2 points to 23.3 percent.

A generally more upbeat outlook pulled up the expectations component of the index six points to 84.5.

The share of consumers who said they expect business conditions to improve over the next six months rose 1.8 points to 16.8 percent. The proportion of those anticipating worsening conditions edged down three-tenths of a point to 11.4 percent.

The share of consumers who believe more jobs will become available in coming months rose 1.7 points to 14.2 percent. The proportion of those who expect there will be fewer jobs slipped three-tenths of a point to 17.9 percent.

While 18.2 percent of consumers expect their incomes to increase, up 1.7 points, 11.5 percent anticipate lower incomes, down 1.1 points.