Consumer confidence edged higher in July, despite the doom and gloom flowing out of Washington, according to the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index released today.
The Index rose nearly two points to 59.5, up from 57.6 in June. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected the July index to decline to 56.
Although the Index rose – indicating improved optimism about the economy – consumers still have mixed feelings about how the economy is doing.
For example, the July Index shows that consumers are a more positive about job prospects for the second half of the year, but less enthusiastic about the current job market.
“Consumer confidence posted a modest gain in July, the result of an improvement in consumers’ short-term outlook. Consumers’ appraisal of current business and employment conditions, however, was less favorable as concerns about the labor market continue to weigh on consumers’ attitudes. Overall, consumers remain apprehensive about the future, but some of the concern expressed last month has abated,” Lynn Franco, director of the board’s Consumer Research Center, said in a press release.
The Conference Board is an independent business research organization.
Conference Board: Press release
Bloomberg: U.S. Consumer Confidence Unexpectedly Rises
Wall Street Journal MarketWatch: Consumer-confidence index rises in July
Photo: In this July 15, 2011 photo, workers put a new surface on the outside of a retail store at a shopping plaza in Mayfield Hts., Ohio. A private research group is reporting that U.S. consumers’ confidence rose slightly in July as their concerns about jobs and income eased somewhat. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)