The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had declined in June, improved slightly in July. The Index now stands at 65.9, up from 62.7 in June.
Consumers' appraisal of current conditions eased in July. Those claiming business conditions are "good" declined to 13.8% from 14.2%, while those saying business conditions are "bad" decreased to 34.2% from 35.9%. Consumers' assessment of the labor market was also mixed. Those stating jobs are “hard to get" declined to 40.8% from 41.2%, while those claiming jobs are "plentiful" decreased to 7.8% from 8.3%.
On the other hand, consumers were generally more optimistic about the short-term outlook in July. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months rose to 18.9% from 16.0%, while those anticipating business conditions will worsen decreased to 14.6% from 15.8%. Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also more upbeat in July. Those expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased to 17.6% from 14.8%, while those anticipating fewer jobs edged down to 20.3% from 20.8%. The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes, however, declined to 14.2% from 15.3%.