U.S. Consumer Confidence Rises To Highest Level Since 2019

U.S. consumer confidence jumped to its highest level since the end of 2019 in June as growing labour market optimism amid a reopening economy offset concerns about higher inflation.

The survey from The Conference Board also showed a healthy appetite for long-lasting manufactured goods such as motor vehicles and household appliances, suggesting strong momentum in the economy as the second quarter ended.

Consumers were also keen to purchase homes, a sign that house prices will continue to rapidly increase as supply lags. Many intended to go on vacation, mostly in the United States, over the next six months, which should boost demand for services and add fuel to consumer spending.

The Conference Board's consumer confidence index edged up to a reading of 127.3 this month, the highest level since February 2020, from 120.0 in May.

The survey places more emphasis on the labour market, which is steadily recovering. More than 150 million Americans have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, allowing for broader economic re-engagement.

The survey's present situation measure, based on consumers' assessment of current business and labour market conditions, increased to 157.7 from 148.7 last month. The expectations index, based on consumers' short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions, rose to 107.0 from 100.9.

Consumers' inflation expectations over the coming 12 months rose to 6.7% from 6.5% last month.

The Conference Board survey's so-called labour market differential, derived from data on respondents' views on whether jobs are plentiful or hard to get, vaulted to 43.5 in June. That was the highest level since 2000 and was up from 36.9 in May.

Economists are forecasting another double-digit rise in consumer spending this quarter, which is expected to lead to the economy growing at about a 10% annualized rate. Gross domestic product expanded at a 6.4% pace in the first quarter.