The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had decreased in April, declined further in May. The Index now stands at 92.6 (1985=100), down from 94.7 in April. The Present Situation Index decreased from 117.1 to 112.9, while the Expectations Index declined from 79.7 to 79.0 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 19.
"Consumer confidence declined slightly in May, primarily due to consumers rating current conditions less favorably than in April," said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. "Expectations declined further, as consumers remain cautious about the outlook for business and labor market conditions. Thus, they continue to expect little change in economic activity in the months ahead."
Consumers' assessment of current conditions weakened in May. The percentage stating business conditions are "good" improved from 24.2 percent to 25.9 percent. However, those saying business conditions are "bad" also increased, from 18.2 percent to 21.6 percent. Consumers' appraisal of the labor market was less favorable. The proportion claiming jobs are "plentiful" was virtually unchanged at 24.3 percent, however those claiming jobs are "hard to get" increased from 22.8 percent to 24.4 percent.
Consumers were less optimistic about the short-term outlook than last month. Those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased from 13.8 percent to 15.1 percent, but those expecting business conditions to worsen also rose, from 10.8 percent to 11.6 percent.
Consumers' outlook for the labor market was less favorable. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead was virtually unchanged at 12.8 percent, but those anticipating fewer jobs increased from 16.7 percent to 18.1 percent. The proportion of consumers expecting their incomes to increase improved from 15.8 percent to 16.2 percent, while the proportion expecting a reduction in income remained steady at 12.4 percent.
May 2016 Consumer Confidence Survey
The Conference Board
The Conference Board publishes the Consumer Confidence Index, at 10 a.m. ET on the last Tuesday of every month. Subscription information and the technical notes to this series are available on The Conference Board website: https://www.conference-board.org/data/consumerdata.cfm.