A better-than-expected reading from The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index is giving outside markets a lift this morning. After declining in August, the index improved 9 points to 70.3 (1985=100).
"The Consumer Confidence Index rebounded in September and is back to levels seen earlier this year (71.6 in February 2012)," says Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. "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. Despite continuing economic uncertainty, consumers are slightly more optimistic than they have been in several months."
Consumers were more upbeat about present-day conditions and about the short-term outlook. Those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased to 18.2% from 16.7%, while those anticipating business conditions to worsen decreased to 13.8% from 17.6%. Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also more favorable. Those expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased to 18.5% from 15.8%, while those anticipating fewer jobs declined to 18.5% from 23.7%