Consumer Confidence Stabilizes
The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index held steady in July following a decline in June. The Index now stands at 51.9 (1985=100), up minimally from June’s 51.0. The Present Situation Index was also virtually unchanged at 65.3 versus 65.4 last month. The Expectations Index gained the most ground, inching up to 43.0 from 41.4 in June.
Six-month buying plans for big-ticket items in July were mixed, with 2.7 percent of consumers planning on buying a home in the next six months, up from 2.4 percent in June; 5.0 percent planning on purchasing an automobile, off slightly from June; and 27.7 percent expecting to buy a major appliance within six months, down from 28.3 percent in June.
The percentage of consumers rating current business conditions as “bad” increased to nearly one-third of consumers—32.8 percent—from a revised 31.9 in June. Looking forward six months, 32.4 percent of consumers thought business conditions would worsen, down from 33.5 percent in June.