US Confidence Index Suffers Slight Fall

26 June 2003

Americans’ confidence in the economy is down marginally this month despite improving expectations for the future.

The Conference Board’s closely watched index of consumer sentiment slipped from 83.6 in May to 83.5 in June, though this is still well above April’s 81.0.

The component measuring confidence in the current economic situation slid from 67.3 last month to 64.9, tempering a rise in the expectations barometer from 94.5 to 95.9.

“The recent turnaround in the stock market and an easing in unemployment claims should keep consumer expectations at current levels and may signal more favorable economic times ahead,” commented Board economist Lynn Franco.

• In a separate survey, 70% of chief financial officers said they were more positive about economic conditions now than they were three months ago.

Research from Financial Executives International and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business found respondents were much more optimistic than in March, when just 25% said they were more upbeat than three months earlier.

However, there are no signs this will translate into significantly increased business investment. Executives in the survey predicted an average of 1.5% growth in capital spending over the next year and a 0.4% fall in employment.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff