Consumer Confidence Improved in July
The latest Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index was released this morning based on data collected through July 14. The headline number of 121.1 was an increase from the final reading of 117.3 for June, a downward revision from 118.9. Today's number was above the Investing.com consensus of 116.5.
Here is an excerpt from the Conference Board press release.
“Consumer confidence increased in July following a marginal decline in June,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions remained at a 16-year high (July 2001, 151.3) and their expectations for the short-term outlook improved somewhat after cooling last month. Overall, consumers foresee the current economic expansion continuing well into the second half of this year.”
Putting the Latest Number in Context
The chart below is another attempt to evaluate the historical context for this index as a coincident indicator of the economy. Toward this end, we have highlighted recessions and included GDP. The regression through the index data shows the long-term trend and highlights the extreme volatility of this indicator. Statisticians may assign little significance to a regression through this sort of data. But the slope resembles the regression trend for real GDP shown below, and it is a more revealing gauge of relative confidence than the 1985 level of 100 that the Conference Board cites as a point of reference.
On a percentile basis, the latest reading is at the 91st percentile of all the monthly data points since June 1977, up from the 89th percentile the previous month.