Fears About Inflation and Jobs Diminish Consumer Confidence

May 25, 2021

American consumers’ confidence in the economy fell in May for the first time in six months as they grew more worried about rising prices and future job opportunities.

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index fell to 117.2 in May. That’s quite a drop from April’s initial reading of 121.7, but April’s reading was downwardly revised to 117.5, making the slide smaller. Economists had expected a drop to 119.5.

As vaccine distribution continues and business restrictions lift, Americans remain very confident about the present moment. The “current conditions” index surged to 144.3 for the month, up from 131.9 last month. That’s the highest reading since the pandemic began.

Consumers’ expectations for the next six months sank, however, falling from 107.9 to 99.1, the lowest level in three months. The number of households who expect fewer jobs to be available in the coming months also increased.

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