U.S. consumer confidence rose in July amid cautious optimism about job prospects, but overall sentiment in months ahead would likely stay below levels touched earlier this year, a survey showed on Tuesday (July 25).
Reuters reported that the Conference Board said its index of consumer sentiment climbed in July to 106.5, up from 105.4 in June. Sentiment scaled a year high of 109.8 in April.
Economists polled by Reuters on average had forecast that the index likely fell to 104.0.
“Consumer confidence continues to hold steady, with the prognosis little changed from last month,” said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center. “Present day conditions remain favorable, though not as strong as earlier this year. Expectations for the month ahead remain cautious and also below levels earlier this year.”
The business research group’s present situation index rose to 133.0 from 132.2 in June, while the expectations component improved to 88.8 from 87.5 in June. Labor market conditions were little changed in July, according to the Conference Board.
Consumers who said jobs were “plentiful” increased to 27.6% in July from 26.6% in June, while those who said jobs were “hard to get” remained unchanged at 19.9%.
Sentiment indexes have traditionally been seen as a gauge of U.S. consumer spending, which accounts for roughly two-thirds of overall economic activity.