Consumer confidence increases in September

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index showed moderate improvement in September.
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The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index showed moderate improvement in September.

The index stands at 103, up from 101.3 in August. It is the second-highest reading since the end of the Great Recession, MarketWatch reported.

The Present Situation Index — a measure of current conditions — increased from 115.8 last month to 121.1 in September and also was at an eight-year high. The Expectations Index edged down to 91.0 from 91.6 in August.

“Consumer confidence increased moderately in September following August’s sharp rebound,” The Conference Board director of economic indicators Lynn Franco said in a statement.

“Consumers’ more positive assessment of current conditions fueled this month’s increase and drove the Present Situation Index to an 8-year high. Consumers’ expectations for the short-term outlook, however, remained relatively flat, although there was a modest improvement in income expectations. Thus, while consumers view current economic conditions more favorably, they do not foresee growth accelerating in the months ahead.”

Consumers’ appraisal of business conditions as “good” increased from 23.7 percent to 28.0 percent and those who said business conditions are “bad” declined modestly from 17.8 percent to 16.7 percent.

Consumers were somewhat mixed about the job market. Those who said jobs are “plentiful” increased from 22.1 percent to 25.1 percent and those who said jobs are “hard to get” rose from 21.7 percent to 24.3 percent.

Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook was little changed in September. The percentage of consumers who expect business conditions to improve during the next six months increased from 16.6 percent to 17.9 percent and those who expect business conditions to worsen also increased from 9.1 percent to 10.3 percent.

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