Consumer Confidence Increases Marginally in July
The latest Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index was released this morning based on data collected through July 19. The headline number of 127.4 was an increase from the final reading of 127.1 for June, an upward revision from 126.4. Today's number was above the Investing.com consensus of 126.5.
Here is an excerpt from the Conference Board press release.
“Consumer confidence gained marginal ground in July, after a modest decline in June,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions improved, suggesting that economic growth is still strong. However, while expectations continue to reflect optimism in the short-term economic outlook, back-to-back declines suggest consumers do not foresee growth accelerating.”
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.