The RBC Consumer Attitudes and Spending Household (CASH) Index rose by a sharp 15.1 points in August to 37.5, reversing a slide of the previous two months.
Although consumer sentiment remains volatile, RBC said all four sub-indices that the index tracks improved, indicating a brightened outlook for jobs and investing.
“The RBC Index for August showed a strong bounce in overall confidence, but as the relatively low readings in the sub-indices show, the economic recovery continues to face a number of headwinds, particularly in the job market,” said RBC Capital Markets U.S. Economist Tom Porcelli. “On that front, the RBC Jobs Index remains at a relatively low level and suggests a continued difficult labor backdrop to any recovery.”
The other three sub-indexes comprising the overall consumer index are: the RBC Current Conditions Index, RBC Expectations Index and RBC Investment Index. The baseline for each, at their introduction in January 2002, is 100.
Highlights from this month’s survey show that 34% of consumers expect the economy in their community to improve in the next six months; 25% said they are more comfortable making household purchases than they were six months ago; and 36% said now is a good time to invest in the markets.