Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published June 24, 2014 at 1:29 PM | Page modified June 24, 2014 at 1:39 PM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

US consumer confidence reaches a 6-year high

U.S. consumers are more confident about the economy than they have been in more than six years.


AP Economics Writer

advertising

WASHINGTON —

U.S. consumers are more confident about the economy than they have been in more than six years.

The Conference Board's confidence index rose to 85.2 this month from a revised 82.2 in May, the private research group said Tuesday. The June figure is the highest since January 2008, a month after the Great Recession officially began.

More Americans are optimistic about business conditions and the outlook for jobs, though fewer expect their incomes will grow over the next six months.

"Still, the momentum going forward remains quite positive," Lynn Franco, a Conference Board economist, said.

The index compiled by the Conference Board shows that confidence has been rising steadily since bottoming at 25.3 in February 2009. It's well above last year's average of 72.3. But it still hasn't returned to full health. Before the recession, the index usually topped 90.

Consumers' attitudes are closely watched because their spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.

Consumers registered the most favorable assessment of current business conditions since March 2008, and their outlook for the next months rose to highest level since August 2013. The percentage saying jobs are "plentiful" was 14.7 percent, highest since May 2008.

"Americans appear to have had a bit more of a spring in their step over the past two months," Jennifer Lee, senior economist with BMO Capital Markets, wrote in a research note.

An improving job market has brightened Americans' outlook.

The U.S. economy generated more than 200,000 jobs in May for the fourth straight month -- the longest such streak since 1999. The unemployment rate has tumbled to 6.3 percent in May from 7.5 percent a year earlier.

Icy weather put the economy in a deep freeze the first three months of the year: From January through March, the economy contracted at a 1 percent annual rate -- a figure that might be downgraded even more when the government issues updated first-quarter numbers Wednesday.

But economists expect the economy to pick up momentum as the year wears on and to be expanding at a 3 percent annual pace in the second half of 2014.



Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

Also in Business & Technology

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

The summer is wide open.

The summer is wide open.

Follow our three-part "Washington's National Parks" series running through August 10 for an in-depth look at some of our local treasures.

Advertising

Advertising


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►