The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in June, was relatively unchanged in July.
The Index now stands at 97.3, compared to 97.4 in June.
Andrew Hunter, assistant economist at Capital Economics, told the Wall Street Journal that the higher-than-expected reading suggested “consumption growth will continue at a decent pace in the third quarter.”
“The continued strength of consumer confidence supports our view that an acceleration in hourly wage growth, along with further gains in housing and equity prices, will ensure that spending continues to grow at a solid 2 to 2.5 percent annualized pace over the rest of this year,” he said in a note to clients.
The present-situation index rose in July to 118.3 from a downwardly revised 116.6. The expectations index fell slightly to 83.3 from 84.6 in June.
Nielsen conducts the monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, for the Conference Board.
“Consumer confidence held steady in July, after improving in June,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers were slightly more positive about current business and labor market conditions, suggesting the economy will continue to expand at a moderate pace. Expectations regarding business and labor market conditions, as well as personal income prospects, declined slightly as consumers remain cautiously optimistic about growth in the near-term.”