The Consumer Confidence Index rose in June, The Conference Board reported in a Tuesday (June 30) press release, but it is still not back to pre-pandemic levels.
In June, the index hit 98.1, up from 85.9 in May.
Meanwhile, the Present Situation Index, which looks at assessments by consumers of the current business and labor market, was measured at 86.2 in June, up from 68.4 last month.
And the Expectations Index, which looks at consumers’ short-term predictions for the economy, was at 106 this month, an increase from 97.6 last month, the press release says.
Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, said consumer confidence overall was still “well below” the way it was prior to the pandemic.
She said that the reopening of states in May and June, along with the payment of unemployment claims, helped raise confidence, although the Present Situation index didn’t inspire much hope, indicating an economy still mired in trouble.
“Looking ahead, consumers are less pessimistic about the short-term outlook, but do not foresee a significant pickup in economic activity,” she said, according to the release. “Faced with an uncertain and uneven path to recovery, and a potential COVID-19 resurgence, it’s too soon to say that consumers have turned the corner and are ready to begin spending at pre-pandemic levels.”
The number of people classifying business conditions as “good” rose from 16.4 percent to 17.4 percent, whereas those calling conditions “bad” fell from 51.2 percent to 43.2 percent. Consumers were more inclined to say there were jobs available, with 20.8 percent saying jobs were “plentiful,” the press release said, where only 23.8 percent said jobs were hard to get.
In the short-term outlook, consumers tended to be less pessimistic in June, with people predicting improved business conditions at 42.6 percent, around the same as last month. Those who thought conditions would worsen fell from 20.5 percent to 15.3 percent, the press release said. Numbers declined for both those expecting more jobs in the next few months and those anticipating fewer jobs.
Consumer confidence stabilized in May after the early months of the pandemic.