• US consumer confidence brightens in June


    WASHINGTON, D.C.: US consumers grew more confident in the economy in June after sentiment sagged in the two prior months but still remained cautious about growth prospects, the Conference Board said on Tuesday.

    The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index rebounded to 98.0 from 92.4 in May. The index was at the highest level since 99.1 in October.

    Consumer views were less negative about the current business and jobs market situations, but only a tick more positive.

    The survey showed the number of persons thinking business conditions were “bad” fell to 17.7 percent, while those thinking jobs were “hard to get” dropped to 23.3 percent.

    Looking six months ahead, survey respondents were generally more optimistic about business conditions, employment and personal income growth.

    “Overall, consumers remain cautiously optimistic about economic growth in the short term,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.

    The solid gain in confidence in the final month of the second quarter in June could provide momentum for consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of activity in the world’s largest economy.

    “This morning’s report suggests that household sentiment is regaining its footing, which should be constructive for Q3 spending growth,” Barclays analyst Jesse Hurwitz said in a client note.

    Jim O’Sullivan, chief US economist at High Frequency Economics, noted that labor market perceptions were not corroborating any sudden weakening in the labor market, suggested by shockingly weak May jobs growth of 38,000 payrolls.

    “We continue to believe that the May employment report grossly exaggerated the extent to which employment growth has slowed,” he said.


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