U.S. Consumer Confidence Unexpectedly Improves In June

Consumer confidence in the U.S. unexpectedly improved in the month of June, according to a report released by the Conference Board on Tuesday.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index rose to 118.9 in June from a downwardly revised 117.6 in May.

The increase came as a surprise to economists, who had expected the index to drop to 116.7 from the 117.9 originally reported for the previous month.

The unexpected rise by the index came amid an improvement in consumers’ assessment of current conditions, with the present situation index climbing to 146.3 in June from 140.6 in May.

Consumers saying business conditions are “good” increased to 30.8 percent from 29.8 percent, while those saying business conditions are “bad” fell to 12.7 percent from 13.9 percent.

The Conference Board said consumers’ assessment of the labor market was also more positive, with those saying jobs are “plentiful” rising to 32.8 percent from 30.0 percent and those claiming jobs are “hard to get” edging down to 18.0 percent from 18.3 percent.

On the other hand, the report said the expectations index dipped to 100.6 in June from 102.3 in May, as consumers were less optimistic about the short-term outlook.

The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased to 20.4 percent from 21.5 percent, although those expecting conditions to worsen also slipped to 9.9 percent from 10.3 percent.

Consumers expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased to 19.3 percent from 18.6 percent, but those anticipating fewer jobs also rose to 14.6 percent 12.1 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

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