A weaker short-term outlook dragged down consumer confidence in July, the ""Conference Board"":http://www.conference-board.org/ reported.[IMAGE]
The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased for the third straight month in June, pulled back to 80.3 in July as its two sub-components moved in different directions.
""Consumer Confidence fell slightly in July, precipitated by a weakening in consumers' economic and job expectations,"" said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board. ""Consumers' assessment of current conditions continues to gain ground and expectations remain in expansionary territory despite the July retreat.""
The Present Situation Index increased to 73.6 from June's reading of 68.7. According to the Conference Board's report, the number of those stating business conditions are ""good"" increased to 20.9 percent from 19.4 percent, while those stating conditions are ""bad"" dropped 4 basis points to 24.5 percent.
Respondents' assessment of the current job market was also more positive, with the number of those claiming jobs are ""plentiful"" increasing to 12.2 percent from 11.3 percent in June.
The improvement in the Present Situation Index was offset by a larger decline in the Expectations Index, which fell from 91.1 in June to 84.7 in July. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased to 19.1 percent from 21.4 percent; the number of those expecting conditions to worsen remained flat at 11.2 percent.
While consumers were positive about the labor market's current state, they were less upbeat in their outlook. Those anticipating more jobs in the coming months declined to 16.5 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs increased 2 percentage points to 18.1 percent.
Meanwhile, the proportion of consumers expecting their incomes to increase dropped moderately to 15.3 percent--however, the percentage of respondents expecting their incomes to decline also fell, slipping to 13.8 percent.