The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rose to 133.4 (1985=100) in August, the highest since October 2000. That’s up from a modest increase to 127.9 in July.
The Present Situation Index improved from 166.1 to 172.2, while the Expectations Index increased from 102.4 last month to 107.6 this month.
“Consumer confidence increased to its highest level since October 2000 (Index, 135.8), following a modest improvement in July,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions improved further.”
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was August 17.
“Expectations, which had declined in June and July, bounced back in August and continue to suggest solid economic growth for the remainder of 2018,” Franco added. “Overall, these historically high confidence levels should continue to support healthy consumer spending in the near-term.”
The percentage of consumers stating business conditions are “good” rose from 38.1% to 40.3%, while those saying business conditions are “bad” fell from 10.3% to 9.1%.
The same is true of their views on the labor market was also more favorable. The percentage claiming jobs are “plentiful” was virtually unchanged at 42.7%, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” declined from 14.8% to 12.7%.
Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook bounced back in August. The percentage of consumers anticipating business conditions will improve over the next six months increased from 22.9% to 24.3%. However, those expecting business conditions will worsen ticked up marginally, from 10.3% to 10.5%.
The proportion anticipating more jobs fell from 22.6% to 21.7%, while those anticipating fewer jobs did as well, from 15.2% to 14.1%. For short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement increased from 20.4% to 25.5%, while the proportion expecting a decrease declined, from 9.4% to 7.0%.