Finance

Consumer confidence rises this month, despite recession fears

AP-Nam Y. Huh
Shoppers shop at a retail store in Niles, Ill., on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

U.S. consumer confidence saw an uptick for a second consecutive month despite ongoing concerns about the stability of the economy and the possibility of a recession.  

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rose from 103.6 in August to 108 this month, according to a Tuesday release.  

Jumps in August and September follow a three-month string of declines, with a low point in July, amid rising food and fuel prices and inflation fears. 

The group’s two other economic metrics also increased.  

The Present Situation Index, which measures consumers’ assessment of the current business and labor market conditions, rose from 145.3 in August to 149.6.

The Expectations Index, which measures consumers’ six-month outlook on income, business and labor market conditions, reached 80.3 from 75.8 in August. 

The spikes come as the Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates to try to control high prices and inflation.  

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said last week that the hikes could cause more unemployment and even lead to a recession. The Fed last week issued its fifth rate increase since March. 

Last month, Powell said there was no end in sight to the central bank’s interest rate increases. 

Lynn Franco, the senior director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, noted in the group’s Tuesday release that “recession risks nonetheless persist” in the face of the new increase in consumer confidence.  

“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,” Franco said. 

Tags consumer confidence Consumer Confidence Index Economy federal reserve inflation interest rate hikes Interest rates Jerome Powell Jerome Powell Recession The Conference Board The Fed
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