U.S. Consumer Confidence Unexpectedly Inches Higher In July

Consumer confidence in the U.S. saw a slight improvement from an upwardly revised level in the month of July, according to a report released by the Conference Board on Tuesday. The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index inched up to 129.1 in July from an upwardly revised 128.9 in June. Economists had expected the index to drop to 124.9 from the 127.3 originally reported for the previous month. With the unexpected uptick, the consumer confidence index reached its highest level since hitting 132.6 in February of 2020. “Spending intentions picked up in July, with a larger percentage of consumers saying they planned to purchase homes, automobiles, and major appliances in the coming months,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. She added, “Thus, consumer spending should continue to support robust economic growth in the second half of 2021.” The modest increase by the headline index came as the present situation index crept up to 160.3 in July from 159.6 in June. Consumers’ appraisal of current business conditions improved slightly, while their assessment of the labor market was relatively flat. Meanwhile, the report showed the expectations index came in at 108.4 in July, virtually unchanged from 108.5 in the previous month. While consumers’ optimism about the short-term business conditions outlook eased slightly, they remained upbeat about their short-term financial prospects. On Friday, the University of Michigan is scheduled to release its revised reading on consumer sentiment in the month of July. The consumer sentiment index for July is expected to be unrevised from the preliminary reading of 80.8, which was down from 85.5 in June. .

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