Consumer Confidence Hits 6-Year High in June
Consumer confidence hit a new post recession high this month as surging stock prices and strong job growth lifted Americans’ outlook.
USA Today reported that the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose to 85.2 from 83.5 in May. That’s the highest since January 2008. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected a reading of 83.5.
The economy shrank in the first quarter for the first time in three years but the mood of consumers is shaped more by a labor market that has shifted into a higher gear recently. Since February, monthly job gains have averaged 231,000, up from 194,000 in 2013.
The sharp jump in the index this month was largely driven by consumer’s view of current conditions. Those shown saying business conditions are good rose to 23% from 21.1% while those saying conditions are bad fell to 22.8% from 24.6%.
Americans’ perceptions of the labor market also picked up. In June, 14.7% of consumers surveyed said jobs were plentiful, up from 14.2%% in May. And 31.8%% said jobs were hard to get, down from 32.2%.