In the midst of a contentious presidential election season, consumer confidence in the U.S. is on the rise, according to the latest Consumer Confidence Index data released by Nielsen. Despite the uncertainty and starkly contrasting rhetoric around key economic issues, Americans remained optimistic in the second quarter with a with a three-point confidence increase to 111.
U.S. consumer confidence maintained positive momentum in the second quarter, increasing three points to 113 from the previous quarter.
U.S. confidence has been at or above the optimism baseline of 100 for more than two years (since Q1 2014).
More than half of the U.S respondents were confident that personal finances (70%), immediate spending intentions (58%) and job prospects (56%) would be good or excellent in the next 12 months—each indicator showed improvement from the first quarter.
Personal finance sentiment and immediate spending intentions increased two percentage points each in the second quarter and the outlook for jobs rose four percentage points.
Despite concerns over the recent flood of refugees and the ongoing threat of terrorism, Americans listed the economy (34%) as their biggest and second biggest concern.
Americans listed worries about health (17%), terrorism (17%), debt (15%) and job security (14%).
Anxieties about political stability increased 10 percentage points from last year (Q2 2015) to 14% of respondents in the second quarter—a level that held steady from the first quarter in this presidential election year.
“With U.S. unemployment at a rate of 5% or below since August 2015 and the housing market continuing to expand, American consumers have been spending,” said Louise Keely, senior vice president, Nielsen, and president, The Demand Institute. “However, not all sectors are benefiting equally. Packaged goods retail sectors and value oriented retail channels, in particular, are experiencing slower growth than that of overall consumer spending.”