U.S. Consumer Sentiment at Highest Level since May; Job Openings Near Record

American optimism about the economy appears to be on the rise as consumer confidence in the United States surged in August to its highest level since May, likely due to cheaper gas costs.

Data released on Tuesday indicated that the Conference Board’s index rose to 103.2 from July’s downwardly revised 95.3 figure, marking the first rise in the index in four months. An average of economists polled by Bloomberg predicted a higher reading of 98.

August saw the nationwide average price of gasoline drop below $4 for the first time since March. This helped slow overall inflation, which boosted consumer confidence to its highest level in three months in August.


Meanwhile, the job market has shown remarkable resilience despite the gloomy forecast. Job openings unexpectedly increased in July, indicating that the labor market remains strong despite mounting concerns about expansion in other parts of the economy.

Tuesday’s release of the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey by the Labor Department showed that the number of available positions increased to 11.2 million in the month, surpassing all estimates.