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Conf Board Confidence The Latest Survey To Point To Delta Impact


Yet another August-dated survey has shown a decline in confidence: today saw both the MNI Chicago PMI and the Conference Board Consumer Confidence readings disappoint.

  • The latter fell to 113.8 from 125.1 in July, with the present situation and expectations readings each decreasing sharply. As noted by Conference Board Senior Director of Economic Indicators Lynn Franco in the release: "Concerns about the Delta variant—and, to a lesser degree, rising gas and food prices—resulted in a less favorable view of current economic conditions and short-term growth prospects."
  • Not all was negative in the survey, with the much-watched jobs "plentiful" minus "hard to find" metric slipping to a 3-month low but still-elevated 42.8%, suggesting that the labor market remains strong with wage pressures not far behind (see chart).
  • Still, the combination of the Delta variant and higher prices have clearly dented confidence in late summer compared with elevated levels coming out of lockdowns (UMichigan pointed to the same thing). September's readings will bear close watching to see if this is merely an inevitable slowdown from an unsustainably high level or a longer-lingering drop.

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