PhotoNot much movement during July in the way consumers see the economy.

According to The Conference Board, its Consumer Confidence Index was relatively unchanged this month after increasing in June. The Index now stands at 97.3, virtually the same as the 97.4 it registered the month before.

The Present Situation Index rose to 118.3, and the Expectations Index dipped to 83.3 from 84.6.

“Consumers were slightly more positive about current business and labor market conditions, suggesting the economy will continue to expand at a moderate pace,” said Conference Board Director of Economic Indicators Lynn Franco. “Expectations regarding business and labor market conditions, as well as personal income prospects, declined slightly as consumers remain cautiously optimistic about growth in the near-term.”

How they see it

Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions improved slightly during the month, with those who see business conditions as “good” increasing from 26.8% to 28.1%. At the same time, though, those who said conditions are “bad” also rose, from 18.3% to 19.0%.

There wasn't much change in the way that consumers looked at the labor market. Those who think jobs are “plentiful” slipped from 23.2% to 23.0%, while those who believe they're hard “hard to get” also dropped -- from 23.7% to 22.3%.

The view of the short-term outlook was slightly less favorable in July. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months fell from 16.6% to 15.9%; those who say business conditions will get worse rose to 12.3% from 11.2% in June.

Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was a touch more favorable than last month. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead was virtually unchanged at 14.0%, while those anticipating fewer jobs fell 0.7% -- to 17.0%.

The percentage of consumers expecting their incomes to rise fell from 18.2% to 16.6%; however the proportion expecting to earn less also declined -- from 11.3% to 10.8%.

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was July 14.


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