As goes the consumer so goes the U.S. economy. And the news has been mostly good and includes a nearly 4-1/2 point jump in the consumer confidence index to a 101.1 level for August. Both the expectations and present situation components posted gains in the month though the latter does show a sizable and unwanted 1.3 percentage point increase in those describing jobs as hard to get. But signals on jobs are mixed with other readings positive including a gain for those who see more jobs opening up in the months ahead. Another positive is a widening in those who see their incomes improving which boils down to confidence in the jobs market. Buying plans include a jump for homes in what is the latest good news for the housing sector. Weakness in inflation expectations is a concern though the reading did tick up 1 tenth to a 4.8 percent level that for this report, however, is very low. But this report in sum is definitely a positive for the economic outlook and ultimately reflects the strength of the labor market. Another positive employment report on Friday would point to extended strength for all consumer readings.
Consumer Confidence – August 2016
About the Author: Bryan Sanford
Bryan Sanford is Vice President and Investment Officer of Charter Trust Company. He joined the firm in 2009 and is based in our Concord NH office. Mr. Sanford received his Bachelors of Science degree from the University of New Hampshire, Durham. Mr. Sanford has held the FINRA Series 7 license. Prior to joining Charter Trust, Mr. Sanford served in the United States Marine Corps as an infantryman. He participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom, touring in Fallujah, Iraq.