The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index Decreased in August
New York, August 25, 2020…The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® decreased in August, after declining in July. The Index now stands at 84.8 (1985=100), down from 91.7 in July. The Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions – decreased sharply from 95.9 to 84.2. The Expectations Index – based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions – declined from 88.9 in July to 85.2 this month.
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 14.
“Consumer Confidence declined in August for the second consecutive month,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “The Present Situation Index decreased sharply, with consumers stating that both business and employment conditions had deteriorated over the past month. Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook, and their financial prospects, also declined and continues on a downward path. Consumer spending has rebounded in recent months but increasing concerns amongst consumers about the economic outlook and their financial well-being will likely cause spending to cool in the months ahead.”
Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions receded in August. The percentage of consumers claiming business conditions are “good” declined from 17.5 percent to 16.4 percent, while those claiming business conditions are “bad” increased from 38.9 percent to 43.6 percent. Consumers’ appraisal of the job market was also less favorable. The percentage of consumers saying jobs are “plentiful” declined from 22.3 percent to 21.5 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” increased from 20.1 percent to 25.2 percent.
Consumers were also more pessimistic about the short-term outlook. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions will improve over the next six months declined from 31.6 percent to 29.9 percent, while those expecting business conditions will worsen increased slightly from 20.2 percent to 20.5 percent. Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also less positive. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead declined from 29.6 percent to 29.1 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs increased from 21.3 percent to 21.9 percent. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an increase declined from 14.8 percent to 12.7 percent, while the proportion expecting a decrease rose from 15.8 percent to 16.6 percent.
Source: August 2020 Consumer Confidence Survey®
The Conference Board / Release #7026
The Conference Board publishes the Consumer Confidence Index® at 10 a.m. ET on the last Tuesday of every month. Subscription information and the technical notes to this series are available on The Conference Board website: https://www.conference-board.org/data/consumerdata.cfm.
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