NEW YORK (Oct. 11, 2016) — Consumer confidence rose in September to the highest level since before the last recession on optimism about the labor market, according to a Sept. 27 report from the New York-based Conference Board.
The confidence index increased to 104.1 (forecast was 99.0), the highest since August 2007, from a revised 101.8 last month. The present conditions gauge rose to 128.5, also the highest since August 2007, from 125.3.
The survey may bode well for consumer spending, which has cooled after a robust second quarter, reflecting resilient labor market conditions and steady income growth. The assessment of the availability of jobs is consistent with data showing vacancies at a record high nationwide, suggesting that wages could see further gains.
“Consumers are more upbeat about the short-term employment outlook, but somewhat neutral about business conditions and income prospects,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, in a statement. “Overall, consumers continue to rate current conditions favorably and foresee moderate economic expansion in the months ahead.”
Consumers were more optimistic about the outlook for the labor market, as 15.1 percent said more jobs will be available in six months, the most since June 201. The share of Americans who see their incomes increasing in the next six months fell to 17.1 percent from 18.5 percent.
A 16.5 percent share of respondents said they saw an improvement in business conditions in the next six months, down from 17.6 percent. Buying plans wavered, with purchase expectations falling for autos, homes and appliances.