Are Some Consumers Worried about the Future?


Consumers continue to regain confidence, but they may be concerned about the near future. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index increased for the fourth consecutive month to 92.4 in August. But the expectations for the next six months remained unchanged. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index climbed to 82.5 in August from 82.1 in July, and its Current Conditions Index increased to 100 in August from 97 in July. However, the August Index of Expectations lost a point from 72 in July to 71 in August.

The Conference Board reported unchanged the percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months. However, the share reporting an increase in jobs over the same period decreased in August from 18.7% in July to 17.0%. Fewer consumers anticipate income growth, with that share declining from 17.7% in July to 15.5% in August. Also, more consumers expect their income to fall in the near term, increased from 11.1% in July to 11.9% in August.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index has remained in a narrow range between 80.0 and 82.5 over the past nine months. Over the past year, the Current Conditions Index increased 4.8%, but the Expectations Index decreased 3.3%.

Current vs Expected Conditions

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