The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index Drops Month-Over-Month in May 2022

The Conference Board, a non-partisan, not-for-profit think tank founded in 1916, released today (5-31-22) their Consumer Confidence Index® (CCI) for May 2022. The CCI declined slightly in May, following an upward revision in April’s initial report. The Index now stands at 106.4 (1985=100), down from 108.6 in April.

The Present Situation Index—based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions—dropped from 152.9 in April to 149.6 in May.

The Expectations Index—based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions—declined from a reading of 79.0 in April to 77.5 in May.

In a statement prepared for the report, Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, said:

“Consumer confidence dipped slightly in May, after rising modestly in April. The decline in the Present Situation Index was driven solely by a perceived softening in labor market conditions. By contrast, views of current business conditions—which tend to move ahead of trends in jobs—improved. Overall, the Present Situation Index remains at strong levels, suggesting growth did not contract further in Q2. That said, with the Expectations Index weakening further, consumers also do not foresee the economy picking up steam in the months ahead. They do expect labor market conditions to remain relatively strong, which should continue to support confidence in the short run.”

Meanwhile, purchasing intentions for cars, homes, major appliances, and more all cooled—likely a reflection of rising interest rates and consumers pivoting from big-ticket items to spending on services. Vacation plans have also softened due to rising prices. Indeed, inflation remains top of mind for consumers, with their inflation expectations in May virtually unchanged from April’s elevated levels. Looking ahead, expect surging prices and additional interest rate hikes to pose continued downside risks to consumer spending this year.”

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