Consumer confidence saw a sizable jump in June, the ""Conference Board"":http://www.conference-board.org/ reported in its monthly Consumer Confidence Survey.[IMAGE]
Based on responses to the Nielsen survey, the index improved for the third consecutive month to 81.4, the highest level since January 2008. May's index was revised downward to 74.3.
""Consumers are considerably more positive about current business and labor market conditions than they were at the beginning of the year. Expectations have also improved considerably over the past several months, suggesting that the pace of growth is unlikely to slow in [COLUMN_BREAK]
the short-term, and may even moderately pick up,"" said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board.
The Present Situation Index increased to 69.2 from April's revised reading of 64.8. The share of consumers stating business conditions are ""good"" was mostly flat at 19.1 percent, while those saying conditions are ""bad"" dropped to 24.9 percent from 26.0 percent.
Consumers' perceptions about the job market were also more positive. Those claiming jobs are ""plentiful"" increased to 11.7 percent from 9.9 percent, while those claiming jobs are ""hard to get"" edged up to 36.9 percent from 36.4 percent.
Consumer expectations regarding the short-term outlook also improved, with the Expectations Index rising to 89.5 from the previous month's downwardly revised reading of 80.6. Those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased to 20.3 percent, while those expecting conditions to worsen fell to 11.4 percent.
Regarding the labor market, 19.6 percent of respondents expect more jobs in the months ahead (up from 16.3 percent), while 16.1 percent expect fewer jobs (down from 20.0 percent). The proportion of consumers expecting their incomes to increase dipped to 15.2 percent, while those expecting a decrease also fell to 14.4 percent.