Consumer confidence came roaring back in June.
The Conference Board said Tuesday that its confidence index climbed up to a reading of 98.1 in June, up from 86.6 in May and better than the expected reading of 90.
This gauge of the U.S. consumer went into free fall in March and April as the economy went into lockdown and coronavirus infections surged. It stabilized in May and now is rising.
“Consumer Confidence partially rebounded in June but remains well below pre-pandemic levels,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board.
Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved in June. The share of consumers claiming business conditions are “good” rose from 16.4 percent to 17.4 percent, while those claiming business conditions are “bad” decreased from 51.2 percent to 43.2 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the job market was also more favorable. The percentage of consumers saying jobs are “plentiful” increased from 16.5 percent to 20.8 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” decreased from 29.2 percent to 23.8 percent.
“The re-opening of the economy and relative improvement in unemployment claims helped improve consumers’ assessment of current conditions, but the Present Situation Index suggests that economic conditions remain weak,” Franco said.
The short-term outlook became less pessimistic in June. The share of consumers expecting business conditions will improve over the next six months was virtually unchanged at 42.6 percent, while those expecting business conditions will worsen decreased from 20.5 percent to 15.3 percent.
The share expecting more jobs in the months ahead declined from 39.5 percent to 38.4 percent, however those anticipating fewer jobs in the months ahead also decreased, from 19.9 percent to 14.2 percent. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the share of consumers expecting an increase improved from 14.6 percent to 15.1 percent, while the proportion expecting a decrease declined from 15.4 percent to 14.4 percent.