U.S. Consumer Confidence Improves Much More Than Expected In September

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Consumer confidence in the U.S. improved much more than expected in the month of September, the Conference Board revealed in a report released on Tuesday.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index climbed to 108.0 in September from an upwardly revised 103.6 in August.

Economists had expected the consumer confidence index to inch up to 104.3 from the 103.2 originally reported for the previous month.

"Consumer confidence improved in September for the second consecutive month supported in particular by jobs, wages, and declining gas prices," said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at the Conference Board.

The bigger than expected increase by the headline index came as the present situation index increased to 149.6 in September from 145.3 in August, while the expectations index rose to 80.3 from 75.8.

"Concerns about inflation dissipated further in September—prompted largely by declining prices at the gas pump—and are now at their lowest level since the start of the year," said Franco. "Meanwhile, purchasing intentions were mixed, with intentions to buy automobiles and big-ticket appliances up, while home purchasing intentions fell."

She added, "Looking ahead, the improvement in confidence may bode well for consumer spending in the final months of 2022, but inflation and interest-rate hikes remain strong headwinds to growth in the short term."

On Friday, the University of Michigan is scheduled to release its revised reading on consumer sentiment in the month of September.

The consumer sentiment index for September is expected to be unrevised from the preliminary reading of 59.5, which was up from 58.2 in August.

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