The Conference Board’s measure of consumer confidence fell to its lowest level in six years in August, underscoring uncertainty amid high unemployment in a U.S. economy that has faced pandemic-driven stops and starts since mid-March. The unemployment bonus provided by the CARES Act is expiring, and great concern remains surrounding a recent presidential order to authorize states to pay an additional unemployment benefit of up to $400 per week. These factors make it difficult for consumers to have a positive short-term outlook.
The index fell to 84.8 from a revised 91.7 in July, down for a second straight month and missing a median estimate of 93 of analysts polled by Bloomberg and Reuters. The survey’s findings portend rocky times for everyone throughout the consumer ecosystem: respondents said they were less likely to make a big purchase in coming months, including those who plan to buy an automobile, which fell by 9.7%. The index is a measure of Americans’ sentiment about current and future economic conditions.
Source: The Conference Board