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Press Release
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index Declined Marginally in August
27 August, 2019


The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® declined marginally in August, following July’s rebound. The Index now stands at 135.1 (1985=100), down from 135.8 in July. The Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions – increased from 170.9 to 177.2. The Expectations Index – based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions – declined from 112.4 last month to 107.0 this month.

“Consumer confidence was relatively unchanged in August, following July’s increase,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved further, and the Present Situation Index is now at its highest level in nearly 19 years (Nov. 2000, 179.7). Expectations cooled moderately, but overall remain strong. While other parts of the economy may show some weakening, consumers have remained confident and willing to spend. However, if the recent escalation in trade and tariff tensions persists, it could potentially dampen consumers’ optimism regarding the short-term economic outlook.” 

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey®, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was August 16.

Consumers’ assessment of current-day conditions improved in August. The percentage of consumers claiming business conditions are “good” increased from 39.9 percent to 42.0 percent, while those saying business conditions are “bad” decreased from 11.2 percent to 9.8 percent. Consumers’ appraisal of the job market was also more favorable. Those saying jobs are “plentiful” increased from 45.6 percent to 51.2 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” declined from 12.5 percent to 11.8 percent.

Consumers were moderately less optimistic about the short-term outlook in August. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions will be better six months from now decreased from 24.0 percent to 21.9 percent, while those expecting business conditions will worsen increased from 8.4 percent to 10.0 percent.

Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also slightly less positive. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead decreased marginally from 19.9 percent to 19.7 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs increased from 11.1 percent to 13.6 percent. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement decreased from 24.9 percent to 23.8 percent, however, the proportion expecting a decrease declined, from 6.6 percent to 5.8 percent.

Source: August 2019 Consumer Confidence Survey®

The Conference Board / Release #6113

The Conference Board publishes the Consumer Confidence Index® at 10 a.m. ET on the last Tuesday of every month. Subscription information and the technical notes to this series are available on The Conference Board website: https://www.conference-board.org/data/consumerdata.cfm.

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board is the member-driven think tank that delivers trusted insights for what’s ahead. Founded in 1916, we are a non-partisan, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org.

About NIELSEN

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers watch and buy. Nielsen's Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services for all devices on which content — video, audio and text — is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry's only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen also provides its clients with analytics that help improve performance. Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90 percent of the world’s population. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

The next release is Tuesday, September 24 at 10 AM EDT.

For further information contact:

Carol Courter
1 212 339 0232
carol.courter@conference-board.org

Joseph DiBlasi
781.308.7935
Joseph.DiBlasi@conference-board.org

THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.

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