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Consumer confidence rises by double-digits in June

Consumer confidence rises by double-digits in June
Farmer's market shoppers struggle to maintain social distancing at the Larchmont Village market in Los Angeles on  March 29. A new survey said consumer confidence increased by double-digits in June. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

June 30 (UPI) -- The consumer confidence index increased by double-digits in June, as states began reopening their economies after restrictions put in place to address the coronavirus pandemic.

The Conference Board said Tuesday the index jumped to 98.1 up from 85.9 in May. The confidence survey is based on a probability-designed random sample conducted for the organization by Nielsen.

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A Dow Jones poll of economists predicted the index would rise to 91.

"Consumer confidence partially rebounded in June but remains well below pre-pandemic levels," Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, said in a statement. "The re-opening of the economy and relative improvement in unemployment claims helped improve consumers' assessment of current conditions, but the Present Situation Index suggests that economic conditions remain weak."

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States have slowly started to re-open their economies across the United States, helping consumer confidence. Several states, including Florida and Texas, announced pull-backs from those re-openings due to rising coronavirus cases.

Preliminary results deadline for the current poll was June 18, before some states started to reverse course on some of their re-openings.

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"Looking ahead, consumers are less pessimistic about the short-term outlook, but do not foresee a significant pickup in economic activity," Franco said. "Faced with an uncertain and uneven path to recovery, and a potential COVID-19 resurgence, it's too soon to say that consumers have turned the corner and are ready to begin spending at pre-pandemic levels."

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The report said consumers' appraisal of current conditions improved through June. The percentage of consumers calling business conditions "good" increased from 16.4 percent to 17.4 percent, while those believing business conditions were "bad" decreased from 51.2 percent to 43.2 percent.

Consumers saying jobs were "plentiful" in June increased from 16.5 percent to 20.8 percent, while those who believe jobs were "hard to get" decreased from 29.2 percent to 23.8 percent.

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