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Economy in Brief

Consumer Confidence Retraced Earlier Gain
by Tom Moeller July 26, 2005

Consumer Confidence in July retraced the prior month's upwardly revised increase and fell 2.8% to 103.2 according to the Conference Board. Consensus expectations had been for stability at 106.2.

During the last twenty years there has been a 52% correlation between the level of consumer confidence and the y/y change in real consumer spending. The correlation rose to 66% during the last ten years.

Consumers' assessment of the present situation slipped for only the second month this year and the index remained up 11.4% y/y. Jobs were viewed as hard to get by 23.8% of survey participants, a slight m/m increase, but the 28.7% of participants who thought that business conditions were good was the highest in four years.

Consumer expectations fell 3.5% (-11.7% y/y) to the lowest level since April. Expectations for business conditions slipped the most though expectations that jobs would increase improved and expectations that income would rise only fell modestly.

The Conference Board’s survey isconducted by a mailed questionnaire to 5,000 households and about 3,500 typically respond.

Conference Board July June Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Consumer Confidence 103.2 106.2 -2.4% 96.1 79.8 96.6
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