American consumers are feeling better about today but worse about tomorrow, according to the latest data from The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, released today. In its fourth consecutive monthly decline, the index fell to a reading of 62.0 in June, from 64.4 in May.
While the Present Situation Index moved up to 46.6 from 44.9 in May, the Expectations Index—which gauges expectations for the next six months—declined five points to a reading of 72.3.
"We’ve seen a little bit of pick up in interest in home purchasing," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, on a call with Builder. "But in terms of interest in purchasing a new home over a used home, we’ve seen a moderate decline. … It doesn’t look like we’ll see a big change, either increasing or decreasing, any time soon."
Jobs are "the prime driver of consumer confidence," Franco said, and in June the employment outlook was mixed. Among respondents, anticipation for more jobs being made available in the months ahead declined to 14.1% from 15.4%. However, the percentage of those expecting fewer jobs to be made available also decreased from 21.5% to 20.6%. "Until we see strong, sustainable growth, confidence numbers are likely going to remain around the current levels," she said.
Claire Easley is a senior editor at Builder.
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