The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had decreased in April, declined slightly in May. The Index now stands at 117.9 (1985=100), down from 119.4 in April. The Present Situation Index increased marginally from 140.3 to 140.7, while the Expectations Index declined from 105.4 last month to 102.6 in May.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey®, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was May 18.
“Consumer confidence decreased slightly in May, following a moderate decline in April,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “However, consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions held steady, suggesting little change in overall economic conditions. Looking ahead, consumers were somewhat less upbeat than in April, but overall remain optimistic that the economy will continue expanding into the summer months.”
Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions held steady in May. Those saying business conditions are “good” edged down from 30.8 percent to 29.4 percent, but those saying business conditions are “bad” was unchanged at 13.7 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market also remained positive. Those stating jobs are “plentiful” declined marginally from 30.3 percent to 29.9 percent, however, those claiming jobs are “hard to get” decreased from 19.4 percent to 18.2 percent.
Consumers were less optimistic about the short-term outlook in May. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased from 25.1 percent to 21.3 percent, however, those expecting business conditions to worsen declined marginally from 10.4 percent to 10.1 percent.
Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was mixed. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead declined from 21.9 percent to 18.6 percent, but those anticipating fewer jobs decreased from 13.8 percent to 12.0 percent. The percentage of consumers expecting their incomes to increase edged up from 18.7 percent to 19.2 percent, but the proportion expecting a decrease also rose, from 7.6 percent to 8.7 percent.