People are feeling more optimistic about the economy than they have in five years, according to the latest Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index. The index, which indicates how folks feel about the business and job markets, rose for the third month in a row in June.
Consumer confidence, as measured by the Conference Board, is at its highest point since January 2008. Over the last few months, there has been a steady uptick from consumers, bolstered by improving unemployment numbers and good news about job growth. In May 2013, the index was at 74.3, and in June it rose to 81.4. By comparison, in January 2008 the index was 87.3.
Nineteen-point-one percent of people rated business conditions as good in June—the same as in May. But those who said business was bad decreased from 26% to 24.9%. Twenty-point-three percent of folks said business would get better in the next six months, and 11.4% said they would get worse. In May, only 18.7% saw better business days ahead, and 12.2% foresaw worsening conditions.
The job market outlook is a more positive this month as well. People who said jobs were plentiful rose from 9.9% to 11.7% over the last month. However, those who said jobs were tough to get increased very slightly as well, from 36.4% to 36.9%.
When asked how they feel about job growth, more people had a sunny outlook this month than last. Respondents expecting more jobs to be created in the coming months jumped from 16.3% in May to 19.6% in June.
Those who took a dimmer view, expecting fewer jobs to be available in the near future, decreased from 20% to 16.1%. Income expectations remained about the same however, with 15.2% of people expecting a bigger paycheck on the horizon, and 14.4% saying they expected a decrease in income.
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Survey is conducted by Nielsen and uses a probability-design random sample to gauge consumer sentiment and analyze information. The cutoff date for June responses was June 13, 2013.