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Consumer confidence increases slightly

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Consumer confidence increases slightly

Expectations index declines, however.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had declined in April, increased moderately in May, rising 0.1%. The Expectations Index fell 0.1% during that time.

"Consumer confidence improved modestly in May, after declining sharply in April," said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. "After a three-month slide, the Present Situation Index increased, propelled by a more positive assessment of the labor market. Expectations, however, were relatively flat following a steep decline in April. While current conditions in the second quarter appear to be improving, consumers still remain cautious about the short-term outlook."

"Consumers' optimism about the short-term outlook edged down in May."

Consumers' assessment of current-day conditions improved in May. Those saying business conditions are "good" edged down from 25.5% to 25.2%. However, those claiming business conditions are "bad" also decreased from 19.2% to 17.4%. Consumers were mixed in their assessment of the job market. Those stating jobs are "plentiful" increased from 19.0% to 20.7%, while those claiming jobs are "hard to get" rose from 25.9% to 27.3%.

Consumers' optimism about the short-term outlook edged down in May. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months inched up from 15.4% to 15.6%, while those expecting business conditions to worsen also increased, from 9.1% to 10.8%. Consumers' outlook for the labor market, however, improved. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead increased from 13.8% to 14.6%, while those anticipating fewer jobs declined from 16.4% to 15.5%. The proportion of consumers expecting growth in their incomes was unchanged at 17.4%, while the proportion expecting a decline increased slightly from 10.8% to 11.1%.

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