ETFs To Gain On Upbeat US Consumer Confidence In September

The latest data on U.S. consumer confidence looks encouraging as the metric saw the biggest gain in 17 years in September, at a time when the labor market is also improving. The Conference Board's measure of consumer confidence index stands at 101.8 (the strongest gain since April 2003), comparing favorably with August’s reading of 86.3. Moreover, September’s reading surpassed the consensus estimate of 89.5, per a Reuters’ poll. However, the reading is still below the pre-pandemic level of 132.6 in February.

The Present Situation Index, which gauges consumer views on current business and labor market conditions, rose to 98.5 from 85.8 in August. Meanwhile, the Expectations Index, which is a measure of consumers’ short-term (for the next six months) outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions, came in at 104.0 versus 86.6 in August.

Moreover, the survey’s labor market differential, calculated from data on respondents’ views on whether sufficient jobs are available or hard to get, rose to a reading of 2.9 in September from (2.2) in August, per a Reuters article. Meanwhile, the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic with the recent rise in the number of new cases may put keep a check on consumer spending in the near term at least. Also, consumers seem to be eagerly waiting for another round of Federal stimulus package.

In this regard, Kathy Bostjancic, chief U.S. financial economist at Oxford Economics in New York, said, “households are becoming more optimistic on the labor market and income front, which should support consumer spending in the coming months. However, the possibility that increased unemployment benefits could expire serves as a strong countervailing force,” per a Reuters article.

Present U.S. Economy Scenario

The jobs data, which showed that the economy added 1.4 million jobs in August and unemployment rate dropped to 8.4% from 10.2%, indicates an improving economy. Encouragingly, about half the jobs that were lost during the pandemic have been recovered.

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Disclosure: contains statements and statistics that have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but are not guaranteed as to accuracy or completeness. References to any specific ...

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