Economic Report: U.S. consumer confidence retreats markedly in August, close to levels signaling recession

by | Aug 29, 2023 | Stock Market

The numbers: The index of U.S. consumer confidence dipped to 106.1 in August from a revised 114 in the prior month, the Conference Board said Tuesday. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a modest pullback to 116 from the initial reading of 117, which was the highest level in two years. The revised July reading was the highest since December 2021.

Key details: Part of the survey that tracks how consumers feel about current economic conditions fell to 114.8 this month from 153 in July.  A gauge that assesses what Americans expect over the next six months dropped to 80.2 from 88. The August reading is just above to 80 level that historically signals a recession within the next year. Big picture: The tight labor market had bolstered confidence in June and July. The decline in August reverses all of those gains. The index is still 10.8 points above the recent cycle low in July 2022. Economists think that higher gasoline prices were behind some of the decline in August. The price of a gallon of unleaded gasoline is up 19.6% from the start of the year and over 2% from last month. What the Conference Board said: The organization said it still expects a recession before the end of the …

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