News Column

US Consumer Confidence Rose in September: Survey

Sept. 25, 2012

Frank Fuhrig, dpa


U.S. consumer confidence rebounded to a seven-month high in September after falling in August, data released Tuesday from the largest long-term monthly sentiment survey showed.

The survey's index rose 8.7 points to 70.3 this month, after a dip to 61.3 in August.

The results put the index at the highest mark since it stood at 71.6 in February. The index kept by the Conference Board, a New York-based business think tank, had fallen to 60.6 in the August survey.

The September index exceeded the highest forecast from a survey by Bloomberg news of 73 economists, whose predictions of the consumer confidence index ranged from 60 to 70.

"Consumers were more positive in their assessment of current conditions, in particular the job market, and considerably more optimistic about the short-term outlook for business conditions, employment and their financial situation," said Lynn Franco, Conference Board director of economic indicators.

"Despite continuing economic uncertainty, consumers are slightly more optimistic than they have been in several months."

The September survey showed marginal improvements in consumers' view of the current job market and business conditions.

The consumer outlook for the future improved even more.

The August survey found deep pessimism about employment prospects, with 23.7 percent of respondents expecting the job market to worsen in the next six months and only 15.8 percent expecting an improvement.

Future employment sentiment brightened in the September survey, with those expecting more jobs to be available in the next six months at 18.5 percent. The level of those expecting fewer prospects also stood at 18.5 percent.

For the business outlook in the next six months, the ratio of pessimists to optimists saw a similar flip.

The August survey still had respondents who expected a worsening outnumbering those expecting improvement - 17.6 per cent to 16.7 percent. In September, the survey found 18.2 percent of people were optimistic about business conditions in the next six months, with only 13.8 percent pessimistic.

The consumer confidence survey is based on an index of 100, with the baseline set in 1985.

Source: Copyright 2012 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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