The U.S. Conference Board, a private New York City-based research organization, reported earlier this morning that its gauge of consumer confidence had increased further in June, rising to a reading of 85.2 in the month. That was not only an improvement from May's reading of 82.2, but was above the consensus forecast of 83.5.
Breaking the report down, we find that the Present Situations Index increased from 80.3 to 85.2, while the Expectations Index rose from 83.5 to 85.2, as well. Thus, it was an across-the-board strong showing by this closely watched economic category.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a probability design random sample and is conducted for the Conference Board by Nielson, a global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the June inclusion was June 13th.
According the Conference Board: "Consumer confidence continues to advance and the index is now at its highest level since January 2008 (87.3). June's increase was driven primarily by improving current conditions, particularly consumers' assessment of business conditions."
Moreover, in one key component of this series, consumers' opinion of the job market improved, as well, with those claiming that jobs were plentiful edging up from 14.2 percent to 14.7 percent. Those claiming jobs were hard to find eased from 32.2 percent to 31.8 percent.
Taken as a whole, this was a reassuring economic report and goes hand in hand with data released at the same time today that showed a strong rebound in new home sales in May. Yesterday, the National Association of Realtors reported a solid increase in sales of existing homes. All told, such metrics suggest that the nation's economy rebounded nicely in the fast-ending quarter to perhaps a growth rate of some 3%.
At the time of this article's writing, the author did not have positions in any of the companies mentioned.