Consumer Confidence Index retreats in June

After months of strong gains, the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index waned in June.

The Index now stands at 49.3, down from 54.8 in May. The Present Situation Index decreased to 24.8 from 29.7. The Expectations Index declined to 65.5 from 71.5 in May.

While the outlook remains weak, this is not to suggest things will get significantly worse or better, says Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "The decline in the Present Situation Index, caused by a less favorable assessment of business conditions and employment, continues to imply that economic conditions, while not as weak as earlier this year, are nonetheless weak. Looking ahead, Expectations continue to suggest less negative conditions in the months ahead, as opposed to strong growth," Franco said.

Consumers' appraisal of present-day conditions was less favorable in June. Those claiming business conditions are "good" decreased to 8.0 percent from 8.8 percent, while those saying conditions are "bad" increased to 45.6 percent from 44.5 percent. Consumers' assessment of the labor market was also less favorable. Those stating jobs are "hard to get" increased to 44.8 percent from 43.9 percent. Those saying jobs are "plentiful" decreased to 4.5 percent from 5.8 percent.

Consumers' short-term outlook also was less confident in June. Consumers anticipating an improvement in business conditions over the next six months decreased to 21.2 percent from 22.5 percent, while those expecting conditions will worsen increased to 20.2 percent from 18.0 percent in May.

The job outlook was also more pessimistic. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead decreased to 17.4 percent from 19.3 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs increased to 27.3 percent from 25.6 percent. The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes declined to 9.8 percent from 10.8 percent.

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