Consumer Confidence Hits Two-Year High
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Jul 27, 11:22 AM (ET)
By SETH SUTEL
(AP) Sales of existing homes rose 2.1 percent to a new record in June
as rising mortgage rates prompted...
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NEW YORK (AP) - Consumer confidence rose for the fourth straight
month in July thanks to steady improvements in the job market, the
Conference Board reported Tuesday, putting the indicator at a two-
The New York-based research group reported that its index for
consumer confidence rose to 106.1 in July, up from 102.8 in June and
well ahead of the figure of 102.0 that investors had been expecting.
It was the highest level for the indicator since June 2002.
Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board's Consumer Research
Center, said the gains were fueled by a better outlook for jobs, "and
unless the job market sours, consumer confidence should continue to
post solid numbers."
A measure of consumer expectations for future economic conditions
rose sharply in June, while another one gauging their sense of
current conditions edged higher. The group's "expectations index"
jumped to 105.8 from 100.8 last month, while the "present situation"
index was up to 106.5 from 105.9.
(AP) The index of leading economic indicators declined slightly in
June, according to the Conference...
"Everything you see here is corroborating what we've seen in other
indicators - that the labor market is improving," said Josh Feinman,
chief economist at Deutsche Asset Management.
While the turnaround in employment over the last several months has
been gradual, Feinman said he expected the improvements to hold. "I
think it's pretty solid," Feinman said of the employment gains. But
he added that "it hasn't been super fast - it's like an oil tanker
The better-than-expected reading from the Conference Board helped
lift stocks. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 58 points to
10,020 in morning trading, rising above the 10,000 mark for the first
time since Friday. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index rose
nearly 3 points to 1,087.
The survey found that consumers' expectations for the next six months
were somewhat more optimistic than last month. Respondents who said
they expected business conditions to worsen declined to 7.0 percent
from 9.1 percent, while those expecting better conditions was
relatively unchanged at 23.2 percent versus 23.5.
As for current conditions, the survey also painted a picture that was
favorable overall, but with a few dark spots. About the same number
of people as last month said they thought business conditions
were "good" - 25.6 percent versus 25.8 percent.
But those saying conditions were "bad" edged up to 19.1 percent from
17.4 percent. However, respondents saying that jobs seemed to be
plentiful rose to 19.8 percent from 18.3 percent, and the number
saying jobs were hard to get was essentially unchanged, at 26.0
percent versus 26.2 percent.
The Conference Board's indexes were derived from responses received
through July 20 to a survey mailed to 5,000 households in a consumer
research panel. The figures released Tuesday include responses from
at least 2,500 households. The figures for June were revised after
all the surveys were tabulated.