Reflecting the re-opening of the economy and the recent drop in unemployment claims, the Conference Board released a report on Tuesday showing a bigger than expected improvement in U.S. consumer confidence in the month of June.
The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index jumped to 98.1 in June from a downwardly revised 85.9 in May.
Economists had expected the consumer confidence index to climb to 90.0 from the 86.6 originally reported for the previous month.
“Consumer Confidence partially rebounded in June but remains well below pre-pandemic levels,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board.
She added, “Faced with an uncertain and uneven path to recovery, and a potential COVID-19 resurgence, it’s too soon to say that consumers have turned the corner and are ready to begin spending at pre-pandemic levels.”
The bigger than expected increase by the headline index came as the present situation index surged up to 86.2 in June from 68.4 in May.
The percentage of consumers claiming business conditions are “good” rose to 17.4 percent from 16.4 percent, while those claiming conditions are “bad” decreased to 43.2 percent from 51.2 percent.
Consumers’ assessment of the job market was also more favorable, with those saying jobs are “plentiful” climbing to 20.8 percent from 16.5 percent and those saying jobs are “hard to get” falling to 23.8 percent from 29.2 percent.
Looking ahead, the expectations index increased to 106.0 in June from 97.6 in May, suggesting consumers are less pessimistic about the short-term outlook.
The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions will improve over the next six months was virtually unchanged at 42.6 percent, while those expecting business conditions will worsen declined to 15.3 percent from 20.5 percent.
Meanwhile, the outlook for the labor market was mixed, as consumers expecting more jobs in the months ahead slipped to 38.4 percent from 39.5 percent but those anticipating fewer jobs in the months ahead also decreased fell to 14.2 percent from 19.9 percent.