Consumer confidence fell to its lowest level since September 2017 after several months of steady gains, according to the Conference Board's latest Consumer Confidence Index. The index fell 7.5% to 121.5 in June from 131.3 in May. Households are less optimistic about the short-term economy and labor market amid trade tensions with China and Mexico, according the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
The Present Situation Index decreased 8.1 points from 170.7 to 162.6, the lowest reading since June 2018, and the Expectation Situation Index dropped 10.9 points from 105.0 to 94.1.
Both consumers’ assessment of current conditions and the short-term future weakened in June. The shares of respondents rating business conditions “good” fell by 1.7 percentage points to 36.7, and those claiming business conditions “bad” also declined by 0.8 percentage points to 10.9%. In addition to business optimism cooling, less favorable labor market conditions, following softer job growth last month, has drawn attention. The share of respondents reporting that jobs were “plentiful” decreased by 1.3 percentage points, while those saw jobs as “hard to get” increased by 4.6 percentage points, the highest since November 2017. The gap between these two shares has narrowed.
Though consumer confidence remained at a high level, the continued uncertainty, especially related to the recent escalation in trade and monetary policy, may result in further volatility in the index.Read More