The latest index of U.S. consumer confidence fell to a new low in the month of August, hitting levels that would normally indicate a coming recession.
As Breitbart reports, the Conference Board confirmed on Tuesday that the index fell to 106.1 in August, down from 114 in July. Economists had originally projected that it would rise to 116.6, and had predicted that July would reach 117.0.
“Consumer confidence fell in August 2023, erasing back-to-back increases in June and July,” said Dana Peterson, Chief Economist for The Conference Board. “August’s disappointing headline number reflected dips in both the current conditions and expectations indexes.”
The gauge of consumers’ attitude towards economic conditions also fell, from 153.0 to 114.9. The percentage of consumers who described job opportunities as “plentiful” also declined, from 43.7% to 40.3%. Meanwhile, those who described jobs as “hard to get” rose from 11.3% to 14.1%. And the percentage of those who say business conditions are “bad” rose by one point to 17.2%, while those describing conditions as “good” remained at 20.7%.
“Write-in responses showed that consumers were once again preoccupied with rising prices in general, and for groceries and gasoline in particular,” Peterson continued.
While the expectations index, displaying consumer optimism in the economy, rose to 88.0 in July, it fell dramatically to 80.2 in August. The Conference Board noted that the 80 level is generally indicative of a coming recession the following year.
“Although consumer fears of an impending recession continued to recede, we still anticipate one is likely before year’s end,” the Conference Board declared.
“The proportion of consumers saying recession is ‘somewhat’ or ‘very likely’ ticked down again in August but remain elevated at 69.0%,” Peterson added.