Consumer Confidence: Surprisingly Swift Rebound

September 29, 2020
Bottom Line: After hitting 5+ year lows, consumers' assessments of the economy rebounded sharply in September with the Conference Board's index of consumer confidence posting its largest monthly gain in 17 years. Confidence, at 101.8, is above its three month average of 93.3. Consumers' assessments of current situations increased while their expectations for the future hit a three-month high. Additionally, details were positive as 6-month outlooks for business rose moderately, outlooks for income rose moderately and employment rose moderately. Overall, this was a surprisingly positive report, and if confirmed by other metrics, suggest the deceleration in consumer trends we had been seeing was at least not a sign of another downturn and could begin to reaccelerate. Consumer Confidence ROSE by 15.5 points in September to 101.8, compared with market expectations for an increase to 90.0. The index is now 19.4% BELOW its year-ago level. Present Situation Index ROSE by 12.7 points to 98.5. The index is 42.3% BELOW its year-ago level. The Expectations Index ROSE by 17.4 points to 104.0. The index is 7.4% ABOVE 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 5.1 points to 2.9.