US consumer confidence hits highest point since pandemic: survey
House for Sale (AFP)

US consumers are growing more upbeat about the economy and job prospects, with confidence rebounding to the highest point since the start of the pandemic, according to a survey released on Tuesday.

And even as they become more wary about rising prices, that has not dampened enthusiasm, according to The Conference Board's monthly report showing the consumer confidence index jumped to 127.3 in June -- the highest since February 2020 before Covid-19 shuttered the global economy.

And the index for May was revised up nearly three points to 120.0, the survey showed.

"Consumer confidence increased in June and is currently at its highest level since the onset of the pandemic's first surge in March 2020," said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.

Sentiment improved for current conditions as well as the six-month outlook with Americans "buoyed by expectations that business conditions and their own financial prospects will continue improving in the months ahead," Franco said in a statement.

Oren Klachkin of Oxford Economics credited the progress on containing Covid-19 in the United States.

"Low virus transmission, vaccinations, and expanded reopenings made consumers much more confident," he said in an analysis. "Consumers are coming out of their shell."

The measures of current business conditions and job prospects jumped several points each.

And though the outlook for inflation also continues to creep higher, that has had "little impact" on buying plans.

"In fact, the proportion of consumers planning to purchase homes, automobiles, and major appliances all rose -- a sign that consumer spending will continue to support economic growth in the short-term," Franco said.

"Vacation intentions also rose, reflecting a continued increase in spending on services."

The US housing market has been on fire for months due to rock-bottom borrowing rates, but the short supply has caused prices to soar.

In a separate report, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices showed home prices soared 14.6 percent in the 12 months ended in April, the 11th consecutive month of price increases and the highest reading in 30 years.