Consumer Confidence Reaches Yearly High

U.S. consumer confidence significantly increased in August, reaching its highest level in nearly a year, according to new data. The Conference Board, a private research group, announced that its August consumer confidence index had risen to 101.1. Economists surveyed by several media outlets had been predicting a much lower index of around 97 for the month. In July, the revised confidence index was 96.7, a marginal decline from the previous month.

The survey also found that 30% of respondents said business conditions were “good” in August, up from 27.3% in July. Meanwhile, 18.4% said conditions were “bad,” steady from the month before. An increased number of survey participants predicted an improvement over the next six months while fewer respondents believed conditions would worsen.

Additionally, The Conference Board survey showed that the percentage of consumers expecting more jobs in the months ahead rose to 14.2%, up from 13.5% in July. However, 17.5% of respondents still anticipate fewer jobs going forward, holding steady from the month prior.

The optimism is shared by those in the promotional products industry. The Counselor Confidence Index, which gauges the health and optimism of distributors, held steady at 111 for the first half of 2016, albeit down from 114 in Q4 of 2015.