Consumer confidence slips again
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had declined in May, decreased again in June. The Index now stands at 58.5 (1985=100), down from 61.7 in May. The Present Situation Index decreased to 37.6 from 39.3. The Expectations Index declined to 72.4 from 76.7 last month.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by The Nielsen Co., a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for June’s preliminary results was June 16, 2011.
Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said: “This month’s decline in consumer confidence was driven by a less favorable assessment of current conditions and continued pessimism about the short-term outlook. Consumers rated both current business and labor market conditions less favorably than in May, and fewer consumers than last month foresee conditions improving over the next six months. Inflation fears eased considerably in June, but concerns about income prospects increased. Given the combination of uneasiness about the economic outlook and future earnings, consumers are likely to continue weighing their spending decisions quite carefully.”
Consumers’ appraisal of present conditions was less favorable than in May. Those claiming business conditions are “good” remained the same at 14.3%, while those claiming business conditions are “bad” increased to 38% from 37.2%. Consumers’ assessment of the job market was also less favorable. Those stating jobs are “hard to get” increased to 43.8% from 43.5%, while those stating jobs are “plentiful” decreased to 5.2% from 5.7%.
Consumers’ short-term outlook, which had weakened in May, declined further in June. The proportion of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months declined to 16.4% from 17.2%. However, those anticipating business conditions will worsen decreased to 14.7% from 15.4%.
Consumers remained pessimistic about the outlook for the job market over the next six months. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead declined to 14.2% from 16.7%, while those expecting fewer jobs remained unchanged at 20.3%. The proportion of consumers anticipating an increase in their incomes declined to 13.9% from 14.9%.