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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Confidence Makes Up Most-Recent Losses
by Tom Moeller  July 31, 2012

The Conference Board's Index of Consumer Confidence Index for July rose 5.1% m/m to 65.9 from 62.7 in June, initially reported as 62.0. Expectations were for a July reading of 62.0. The latest figure was the highest since April. During the last ten years there was been a 47% correlation between the level of confidence and the three-month change in real PCE.

An improved reading of consumer expectations led the increase this month with a 7.8% gain (5.6% y/y) to 79.1. The percentage expecting business conditions to improve rose to 18.9% while the percent expecting more jobs increased to 17.6%.

Consumers' reading of the present situation ticked down slightly m/m to 79.1 (5.6% y/y). A lessened 13.8% saw business conditions as good while a slightly lower 40.8% reported that jobs were hard to get, still nearly its highest since January.

Expectations for inflation in the next twelve months ticked up m/m to 5.4% but that was down versus a recent high of 6.2%. The percentage of people looking for higher stock prices rose this month to 26.9% and the percent who are bearish fell slightly. The percentage of respondents planning to buy a home within six months fell to its lowest since February but the percent planning for a major appliance was its highest since March.

Headline figures on consumer confidence are carried in Haver's USECON database. The Conference Board's detailed data are found in Haver's CBDB database, and the consensus expectations figure is from Actions Economics, as tabulated in the AS1REPNA database.

Conference Board (SA, 1985=100) Jul Jun May Y/Y % 2011 2010 2009
Consumer Confidence Index 65.9 62.7 64.4 11.3 58.1 54.5 45.2
Present Situation 46.2 46.6 44.9 29.3 36.2 25.7 24.0
Expectations 79.1 73.4 77.3 5.6 72.8 73.7 59.3
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