Americans feel better about the economy now than at any point during the pandemic

Posted September 29, 2020 10:57 a.m. EDT

— Six months into the pandemic, Americans are beginning to feel much better about the economic recovery. Consumer confidence soared to its highest level since Covid-19 swept across the country, The Conference Board reported Tuesday.

In spite of rising infections, stalled negotiations for another stimulus package on Capitol Hill and a slowing jobs recovery, Americans are increasingly optimistic about the short-term business outlook, the job market, and their financial prospects.

"This is much needed good news about the American consumer and potential spending," said Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO.

Some two-thirds of the US economy rely on consumer spending, so how people feel about this recovery is an important piece of the puzzle as the country tries to get back to normal.

The survey-based consumer confidence index climbed to 101.8 points in September, compared to 86.3 points in the previous month. Consumers are more optimistic about both the current business and labor market conditions, as well as the short-term outlook.

That said, the consumer confidence index remains well below its pre-pandemic level; in February, it stood at just above 130 points.

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