Consumer Confidence: Another Sharp Increase as Future Expectations Improve

September 27, 2016
Bottom Line: Consumers' assessments of the economy rose sharply more than expected in September, following on surprisingly strong gains in August and hitting a new post-crisis high. Despite political uncertainty, it appears that steady job gains, low volatility in equity markets and subdued gasoline price pressures are helping consumers' outlooks. The expectations component of the survey had been holding back gains on the overall index while the present situation index moved steadily higher. Now the expectations component has moved higher for two months after contracting for about year. Respondents reporting that jobs are plentiful is nearly back to the 2007 highs. And those reporting jobs are hard to get is back to lows not seen since early 2008. Consumer Confidence ROSE by 2.3 points in September to 104.1, compared with market expectations for a decline to 99.0. The index is now 1.5% ABOVE its year ago level. Present Situation Index ROSE by 3.2 points to 128.5. The index is 6.8% ABOVE its year ago level. The Expectations Index ROSE by 1.7 points to 87.8. The index is 3.3% 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 lower by 2.3 points to 6.3.