US consumer confidence dips in August

Washington, Aug 27 (AFP/APP):US consumers remained solidly optimistic about the American economy in August despite turmoil in trade relations, as a key confidence measure dipped only slightly after a surge in July, according to a survey released Tuesday.

“Consumer confidence was relatively unchanged in August, following July’s increase,” said Lynn Franco of The Conference Board.

However, consumer expectations dimmed while feelings about the current economic situation rose, according to the survey.

But the cutoff date for the survey was August 16, so it did not capture last week’s upheaval in President Donald Trump’s trade war with China, which included new rounds of tariffs from both sides, and an angry tweet ordering US companies to leave China.

Although “consumers have remained confident and willing to spend,” Franco cautioned that “if the recent escalation in trade and tariff tensions persists, it could potentially dampen consumers’ optimism regarding the short-term economic outlook.”

The Consumer Confidence Index eased to 135.1 from 135.8 in July, the highest point of 2019 and more than 10 points higher than June, according to the report.

The present situation index gained seven points, while the expectations measure dropped more than five showing slightly more concern about the future.

And even more consumers believe jobs are plentiful currently. But, looking six months into the future, optimism shows signs of waning, with a slightly smaller share expecting their income will increase while more see fewer jobs available.

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