Consumer Confidence Rose 5.5% in August, Breaking Yearlong Slump

Morning Consult’s U.S. Index of Consumer Sentiment saw its greatest jump in confidence since March 2021, rising in 44 of 50 states last month

The increase in consumer confidence in August signals the economy may have avoided a tailspin for now.

U.S. consumer confidence jumped 5.5% in August — its largest improvement since March 2021 — reflecting consumers’ recovering optimism in the economy. The increase, shown in decision intelligence company Morning Consult’s Index of Consumer Sentiment, suggests that the U.S. consumer — and, by extension, the U.S. economy — may have avoided a tailspin for now.

The uptick in the U.S. ICS follows a yearlong downtrend fueled by new COVID-19 variants, high inflation and recession fears. Drawn from the company’s daily survey interviews with approximately 6,000 consumers in the United States, the ICS has now improved over two consecutive months for the first time since April 2021.

“Consumer confidence is breaking out of a yearlong slump, thanks in large part to falling gas prices,” said Jesse Wheeler, economic analyst at Morning Consult. “Improving sentiment will support consumer spending, which has faced headwinds from rapidly rising prices and monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve.”

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Interviewing consumers daily at scale powers state-level scrutiny, revealing an uptick in 44 of 50 states — the greatest number of state-level increases since March 2021. Despite the month-over-month improvements, confidence remains down in 49 states compared with August 2021; only in Delaware are consumers more optimistic than last year.

A table showing that the Index of Consumer Sentiment increased in almost every state from July to August.

In addition to the ICS, Morning Consult also tracks consumer sentiment regarding current economic conditions (the Index of Current Conditions, or ICC) and future expectations (the Index of Consumer Expectations, or ICE) every day. This high-frequency measurement of consumer sentiment has positioned Morning Consult to identify the impact of geopolitical and economic events on consumers across 44 countries. 

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Morning Consult’s Consumer Confidence Survey is a high-frequency indicator of consumers’ economic and financial outlooks across 44 countries. The survey is used to construct Morning Consult’s Index of Consumer Sentiment, which is based on responses to five questions for assessing consumers’ perceptions of their current and future personal finances, 12-month and 5-year expectations for business conditions in their country, and current buying conditions for major household purchases.

Morning Consult began fielding its Consumer Confidence Survey in the U.S. in January 2018 and surveys more than 6,000 U.S. adults each day. U.S. topline figures are available on a weekly basis via Morning Consult’s U.S. Consumer Confidence Dashboard.

About Morning Consult

Morning Consult is a global decision intelligence company changing how modern leaders make smarter, faster, better decisions. The company pairs its proprietary high-frequency data with applied artificial intelligence to better inform decisions on what people think and how they will act.

Among the company’s decision intelligence solutions is Morning Consult Economic Intelligence, which features a suite of economic indicators supported by unprecedented global scale, frequency and depth. With forward-looking metrics, macro- and micro-level data, high-frequency data, and exclusive expert analysis, MCEI powers modern leaders’ decision-making to lead, rather than react to, markets.

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