Consumer Confidence Rises 5 Points

The Consumer Confidence Index rose to 56.9 in August from 51.9. in July, as concerns about inflation ebbed and oil prices slipped. Although, during the same period, consumers’ opinion of the present state of affairs and their job prospects dipped. “Consumer confidence readings suggest that the economy remains stuck in neutral, but may be showing signs of improvement by early next year…However, overall readings are still quite low by historical standards and it is still too early to tell if the worst is behind us,” said Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center.

Consumer Confidence Improves in August, Reports The Conference Board [Conference Board]
As Inflation Worries Ease, Confidence Returns [NYT]


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  1. Bladefist says:

    The worst is behind us. Oil prices are down, the value of the dollar is climbing. Still have some markets in trouble, but overall making a comeback. It is after-all, what markets do.

    • ratnerstar says:

      @Bladefist: The worst is ahead of us. Oil prices are down, but will rise again as worldwide demand growth continues to outpace supply growth. The value of the dollar is climbing, because a) oil is temporarily down, and b) the rest of the world is also experiencing an economic downshift. The relative rise in the dollar, coupled with slowing economies overseas, will nip the nascent US manufacturing/export resurgence in the bud.

      Meanwhile, home values will continue to fall, as they haven’t yet lost all of their bubble gains. Foreclosures will keep increasing, putting additional strains on the financial sector. Credit will keep tightening amidst the losses, strangling the recovery.

      Yes, markets cycle. It’s just that we’ve forgotten that sometimes the cycles are extremely painful.

    • Wormfather is Wormfather says:

      @Bladefist: That doesnt change the fact this is the most useless statistic there is.

  2. Coles_Law says:


    Wait-56.9? I guess that was too confident…

    yes. woo-hoo?

    There we go.

  3. Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

    Just a proactive warning, since market threads always seem to invite such things, to keep partisan political rhetoric (e.g. “this is all the fault of them Demmycrats / Pubbies!”) out of this thread.

  4. HIV 2 Elway says:

    I’ve been doing my part to help. SPEND SPEND SPEND! USA USA USA!

  5. admiral_stabbin says:

    Well, I’m a consumer and my level of confidence hasn’t changed all year. I’m still the outrageous ego-maniac that I was in January.

  6. randomangela47 says:

    As a professional student, I’d like to point out that how-many-thousands of students are starting a new semester & getting big lump sums of student loans this month.

    I know a few who have been putting off purchases that they needed because they barely made it through the summer eating little more than ramen noodles. While I agree they could use some work on their budgeting skills, it has more to do with availability of funds than anything else. That type of spending doesn’t say much to me about confidence in the economy…

    But then I’m not an econ expert — is that type of back-to-school spending enough to make that much of a dent in the stats?

  7. Invective says:

    Like clockwork, the adds begin. Oil & power companies are a powerful lot, so the ‘Consumer Confidence’ stories start to come out. Soon power companies will also start an add campaign, ‘Power to jump as much as 20% in some areas’. With a average college GPA of 2.5, media people in the ‘know’ continue mindlessly predicting that oil and power costs will never go down again, yet know nothing of how these false markets work. Nobody knows, not the Federal government, nor market analysts how bad, bad will be. It’ll be after the ‘great Super-Bowl of U.S. politics’ before things start to change. Both political parties are corrupt, both are bought and paid for with PAC money and your consumerist butts are being sold world wide for hard cash. I hope you all enjoy what it is you’re worth and what’s to come, since as a nation America is now a nation of indentured servants being auctioned off to the highest PAC contributors. Enjoy!

  8. tankertodd says:

    The mainstream media is too busy propping up Biden-Obama (or the other way around?) to get back to beating this drum. Don’t worry, as Obama continues to drop in the polls the mainstream media will step in to try to help their guys out.

  9. jp7570 says:

    “The worst is behind us”. Or is it “the worst is still to come”? Whichever it is, one thing is for certain – markets go down and go up. This has happened time and time again.

    But remember all those people in around 2000 that didn’t think the housing bubble would burst. Guess what? It did.

    Did we learn anything? No we didn’t. Cities kept approving new subdivisions even though demand was decreasing.