The US consumer confidence stabilized in May according to a recent Bloomberg survey showing American optimism that the coronavirus pandemic is short-lived economic drubbing.
The index of the Conference Board went up 0.9 point to 86.6. In a Bloomberg survey of economists the median estimate had called for a reading of 87. Based on consumer’s short-term outlook for wages, company and labor market conditions, the group’s subindex of expectations rose to 96.9 for a second month. Attitudes about the current situation fell by 1.9 points to 71.1, the lowest since 2013, as the ratio of business rating conditions as bad has risen to the highest since 1983.
The data add to signs that the worst of the fallout from the coronavirus is over, though there is still some way to go until the economy is back on track. While states are letting businesses reopen, confidence will be highly dependent on how well the coronavirus is contained and whether there’s a second wave of infections. Economists expect a significant pick-up in activity in the third quarter, but a return to normal is still nowhere in sight as tens of millions of Americans are out of work, schools remain closed and with no vaccine or significant treatment yet available for Covid-19.
The consumer confidence survey is one of the latest indications that while the US may recover from the pandemic’s initial shock, the pain is far from over. The millions of Americans still lose jobs, and reopenings in some areas of the country have gone more slowly.