US consumer confidence declines in August
The Conference Board's consumer confidence index declined in August, down almost 12 points from the previous month's print at 113.8.
Consumer confidence retreated to its lowest level since February in August, driven by fears surrounding the Covid-19 delta variant, as well as rising gas and food prices.
The present situation index, based on consumers' assessment of current business and labor market conditions, fell to 147.3 from 157.2, while the expectations index, which measures consumers' short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions, fell to 91.4 from 103.8.
Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, said: "Concerns about the Delta variant—and, to a lesser degree, rising gas and food prices—resulted in a less favorable view of current economic conditions and short-term growth prospects. Spending intentions for homes, autos, and major appliances all cooled somewhat; however, the percentage of consumers intending to take a vacation in the next six months continued to climb.
"While the resurgence of Covid-19 and inflation concerns have dampened confidence, it is too soon to conclude this decline will result in consumers significantly curtailing their spending in the months ahead."