U.S. conference board’s consumer sentiment index rises in September
Source: FxWire Pro - Commentary / 25 Sep 2018 14:56:18 America/New_York
The U.S. Conference Board’s index of consumer sentiment rose in September. The index rose from an upwardly revised August’s print of 134.7 to 138.4 in September, the highest reading in around 18 years. The outturn was above consensus expectations of a widely flat reading and was led mainly by a rebound in consumers’ expectations, while their assessment of present conditions remained positive. The report is also in line with the University of Michigan’s measure of consumer confidence, which recorded a significant rise in September. Overall, these surveys indicate towards optimism among consumers even in the midst of ongoing anti-trade tensions and augur well for consumer spending in the months ahead.
Delving into details, the expectations index rose 6 points to 115.3 in the month. More consumers expected “better” business conditions in the next six months, and there was a fall in those who expected conditions to become “worse”. Similarly, there was a slight rise in the percentage of consumers who expect employment to be plentiful in the near future compared with those who expect “fewer jobs”.
On the income side, just 6.5 percent of all consumers surveyed expected a “decrease” in income levels in the coming six months. Overall, consumers seem positive regarding future economic conditions, driven mainly by expectations of strong economic growth and solid labor markets. In line with this, plans to purchase big-ticket items such as a major appliances, autos, and homes continued to be widely stable from August. Consumers’ assessments regarding present conditions were positive. The index was widely the same at 173.1. Consumers continued to see business conditions as mainly normal to favourable and those claiming jobs are “plentiful” rose to 45.7 percent.
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