Consumer Confidence: Declines As Virus Resurges

July 28, 2020
Bottom Line: Consumers' assessments of the economy deteriorated in July as the resurgence of the novel coronavirus impacted future expectations even. Confidence, at 92.6, is still equal to its three month average of 92.3. And consumers' assessments of current situations increased. Forward-looking details were negative as 6-month outlooks for business fell moderately, outlooks for income fell modestly and employment fell moderately. Uncertainty remains the big headwind for consumers as Congress debates another stimulus package. Overall, consumer confidence is at an inflection point that could easily turn more positive or more negative rather quickly depending on the course of the virus, any potential vaccines and the policy response. Consumer Confidence FELL by 5.7 points in July to 92.6, compared with market expectations for a decline to 95.0. The index is now 31.8% BELOW its year-ago level. Present Situation Index ROSE by 7.5 points to 94.2. The index is 44.9% BELOW its year-ago level. The Expectations Index FELL by 14.6 points to 91.5. The index is 18.6% BELOW its year-ago level. The labor differential, the percentage of respondents who said jobs are “hard to get” from the percentage who said jobs are “plentiful”, moved higher by 4.1 points to 1.3.