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U.S. Consumer Confidence Rises as Economic Optimism Holds Up

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. consumer confidence increased modestly in July as Americans grew more upbeat about the economy and labor market, figures from the New York-based Conference Board showed Tuesday.

Highlights of Consumer Confidence (July)

  • Confidence index rose to 127.4 (est. 126) from 127.1 in June (prev. 126.4)
  • Present conditions measure increased to a 17-year high of 165.9 from a revised 161.7
  • Consumer expectations gauge slipped for a second month, falling to 101.7 from 104
  • Gauge of 12-month inflation expectations climbed to highest since October 2015

Key Takeaways

A currently healthy labor market and robust economic growth offset consumer concerns in July about how trade tensions will affect jobs and prices in coming months. The economy accelerated to a 4.1 percent pace of growth in the second quarter, the fastest since 2014.

Plans to buy autos within the next six months edged up from a two-year low, while a gauge of home purchase expectations declined to the lowest level in two years. Mortgage rates in the U.S. have been hovering near a seven-year high.

U.S. Consumer Confidence Rises as Economic Optimism Holds Up

Economist Views

“Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions improved, suggesting that economic growth is still strong,” Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, said in a statement. “However, while expectations continue to reflect optimism in the short-term economic outlook, back-to-back declines suggest consumers do not foresee growth accelerating.”

Other Details

  • 23.1 percent of consumers said they expect better business conditions in next six months, up from 20.7 percent in June, while those seeing worse conditions also climbed
  • Share who said more jobs will be available in coming months climbed to 22.5 percent from 20 percent, while those seeing fewer jobs rose to a seven-month high

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