Consumer Confidence Nears Highs Set in 2000

Consumer confidence grew during early August to its second-highest point since 2000, showed a survey released on Tuesday.

The survey showed that the consumer confidence index increased from 120 in July to 122.9, said the Conference Board on Tuesday.

Economists were expecting an increase in the index during August to 122.5 from the initial estimate in July of 121.1 that was lowered thereafter to 120. In March, the index reached 124.9, which was its highest point since December of 2000.

Economists said that U.S. consumers were feeling more confident due to rising prices of homes, a strong job market as well as stocks reaching near record highs.

This in turn will help third quarter spending. Spending by U.S. households helped to contribute to growth during the first six months of 2017 in the U.S. gross domestic product.

The measure for current conditions, known as the present situation index, jumped to 151.3 during August from the prior month’s 145.4.

The U.S. future-expectation index increased slightly from 103 to 104, which suggests consumers do not anticipate acceleration in the economic during the months ahead.

The chief economist of one Wall Street financial firm said that consumer confidence had surged following the presidential election back in November that was won by Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump. That surge came on the expectations that the new president would make tax cuts and other changes that were considered positive for the economy.

Now the consumer optimism is over strength of the current economy and the expectations of policy changes have lost some of their steam.

The assessment of consumers of today’s labor market was also more positive.

Those saying jobs were plentiful increased from 33.1% to 35.4%. The measure of jobs that were hard to get dropped to just over 17.3% which is the lowest level it has been since August of 2001.

Upon the news, the Dow Jones was up by 0.1% while the broader S&P 500 was down by 0.14% as tensions increased following the firing of a missile by North Korea over Japan last night.

The missile launched overnight also affected financial markets in Asia and early trading in Europe as tensions are at all-time highs. The increase of the Euro also helped to drive down financial markets across Asia.

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