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US consumer confidence up slightly in July
[WASHINGTON] US consumers were slightly more confident in July but there are signs the economy is not expected to continue to expand at the same pace, according to a survey released Tuesday.
Feelings about the current state of the economy and the jobs market remain strong but slightly more people see conditions worsening in the months ahead, according to the Conference Board survey.
The cutoff date for the survey was July 29, so it captured sentiment in the first month of the trade confrontation with China as steep US tariffs on hundreds of Chinese goods were announced and Beijing retaliated against American products.
However, consumer confidence has not seemed to react to the trade tensions.
"Consumer confidence gained marginal ground in July, after a modest decline in June," said Lynn Franco, the Conference Board's director of economic indicators.
"However, while expectations continue to reflect optimism in the short-term economic outlook, back-to-back declines suggest consumers do not foresee growth accelerating."
The consumer confidence index edged up to 127.4 from 127.1 in June, below the peak hit in February. However, the expectations index slipped for the second consecutive month to 101.7 from 104.
Looking six months ahead, a larger share of consumers expect business conditions to worsen, although they remain a minority. More consumers expect conditions to improve.
Likewise a growing share expect there to be fewer jobs available but they also remain in the minority.
But with a rising share of consumers upbeat about current business conditions and the job market, the present situation index increased to 165.9 from 161.7.