Confidence Rebounds in May

With Americans feeling more buoyant about current business conditions, consumer confidence bounced back in May from an April downturn, advancing by 1.6% to a level of 108.0 from 106.3 the month before, the Conference Board said.

Lynn Franco, director of the business think tank's Consumer Research Center, said, "The bounce-back in confidence was due primarily to a more upbeat assessment of present-day business conditions. Consumers' view of the job market, both present and six months form now, was little changed and did not provide a boost in confidence."

Despite the rebound in May, "the short-term outlook remains cautious, and rising gasoline prices are having a negative impact on consumers' inflation expectations. All in all, confidence levels continue to suggest growth, albeit at a slow pace."

Consumers' views of current conditions were more upbeat in May, with the number claiming conditions are good rising to 29.4% from 27.5% in April. The number who described conditions as bad was unchanged at 14.5%.

Consumers were also more neutral about the job market, with the number who say jobs are hard to get dipping to 19.9% from 20.3%. The number who said jobs are plentiful was unchanged at 29.0%.

Looking out six months, consumers remain cautious, said The Conference Board. The number who expect conditions to improve rose to 15.1% from 13.8%, while the number who expect conditions to worsen advanced as well, rising to 10.1% from 9.7%. The outlook for the job market six months out was unchanged, with the number who expect more jobs holding steady at 13.3%, while 15.7% expect fewer jobs, also unchanged.

The number who expect their income to increase fell to 17.7% from 18.4% in April.

Confidence by Region

Region % Change
Source: The Conference Board
New England -7.9%
Middle Atlantic -8.3
East North Central 19.2
West North Central -1.9
South Atlantic -0.3
East South Central -0.7
West South Central 2.1
Mountain Pacific 7.7

Buying Plans in May
Plans to purchase over the next six months

Source: The Conference Board
Homes -3.3%
Major appliances 9.6
Cars -1.6
Vacation 2.7

Featured Video

  • Live From New York: Fashion Comes Across the Pond

    Camera Icon More Videos

Subscribe to
Home & Textiles Today eDaily
Receive the news you need to know about the trends in the industry delivered right to your inbox.


HTT Cover October 2017

See the October 2017 issue of Home & Textiles Today. In this issue, we look at the Top 25 Online Retailers.  H&TT's exclusive annual ranking of the biggest online sellers of home textiles finds that while pure play etailers continue to fly, bricks & clicks are digging into omnichannel. See details!