U.S. Consumer Confidence Edges Up in September, Beating Expectations -- Conference Board
By Xavier Fontdegloria
Consumer confidence in the U.S. edged up in September, bouncing
sharply from a post-lockdown low and outpacing expectations,
according to data from The Conference Board released Tuesday.
The consumer confidence index increased to 101.8 in September
from an upwardly revised 86.3 in August. Economists polled by The
Wall Street Journal expected the reading to stand at 90.1.
The present situation index, which reflects consumers assessment
of current business and labor market conditions, climbed to 98.5
from 85.8 the previous month. The expectations index, which gauges
short-term outlook for income, business and labor market
conditions, increased to 104.0 in September from 86.6 in
Despite registering the biggest monthly gain since the pandemic
hit the U.S., consumer confidence levels remain below February's
pre-pandemic level of 132.60.
A more favorable view of current business and labor market
conditions, coupled with renewed optimism about the short-term
outlook, helped spur this month's rebound in confidence, said Lynn
Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference
Board. "Consumers also expressed greater optimism about their
short-term financial prospects, which may help keep spending from
slowing further in the months ahead," she said.
In September, the percentage of consumers claiming that business
conditions are good increased to 18.3% from 16.0%, while those
claiming business conditions are bad fell to 37.4% from 43.3%.
Americans also were more optimistic about the short-term
outlook. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions
will improve over the next six months increased to 37.1% from
29.8%, while those expecting business conditions will worsen
decreased to 15.8% from 20.7% the prior month.
The Conference Board's consumer confidence figures are in line
with the University of Michigan's preliminary gauge of sentiment
for the month, released on Sept. 18, which signaled consumer
sentiment edging up to the top of the range it has traveled since
the pandemic hit the country.
Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 29, 2020 10:30 ET (14:30 GMT)
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