(This article is part of the New Europe section of MoneyBeat.)
(Reuters) – U.S. consumer confidence rose to its highest level in nearly eight years in August, while Americans’ expectations of growth for the remainder of the year were the highest in five years, according to a survey.
A man looks at television sets in a TV rental shop in Toronto, February 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
The Conference Board’s “Economic Inflation Expectations Index” for August rose eight points to 85.9. For August, the index rose three points to 95.6, up from a reading of 94.7 in July.
The survey was released on Tuesday before the Federal Reserve signaled it may keep rates unchanged until early next year.
Since the Fed voted in June to hike policy rates, U.S. economic growth has steadily eased, falling into what economists say are the “pessimistic” territory that forecasters fear could push stocks and the broader economy into recession over the next 12 months.
On Tuesday the Fed signaled in a statement that it had kept monetary policy near zero since mid-2008, saying it “believes the labor market is in a strong position to begin a sustainable recovery.”
But the jobs report is a sign that the labor market is gaining traction, the Federal Reserve says. But the job number and hiring pace have been poor from the start of the recovery, which also includes sluggish wage gains.
The survey also showed an optimism among the population about their monthly income. Fifty-six percent saw the U.S. income growth in September as either “fairly” or “greatly” faster than in other months, up one-fiftieth percentage points from July.
The median estimate in the survey, which involved 2,300 respondents, was that income growth would be about 7 percent in 2017, down 1.3 percentage points from July.
Americans expect the economy to be better off next year than last year next year.
But, the survey data showed that this month’s increase may be the smallest since October 2010, after the recession.
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