Consumer Confidence Ticked Up In January
With consumer confidence built on December’s gains, the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 98.1 for January, up from 96.3 in December.
“Consumers’ assessment of current conditions held steady, while their expectations for the next six months improved moderately,” says Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “For now, consumers do not foresee the volatility in financial markets as having a negative impact on the economy.”
The Conference Board’s survey, conducted by information and analytics provider Nielsen, found that consumers had a relatively flat appraisal of current conditions in January. The percentage of those describing business conditions as “good” was virtually unchanged from December at 27.2 percent, while those saying business conditions are “bad” declined slightly from 18.9 percent to 18.5 percent. Their assessment of the labor market was modestly more positive, as the proportion claiming jobs are “plentiful” decreased from 24.2 percent to 22.8 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” declined from 24.5 percent to 23.4 percent.
Optimism about the short-term outlook improved in January. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months rose from 14.5 percent to 16.2 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen slipped from 10.8 percent to 10.3 percent. Their outlook for the labor market was also slightly more optimistic. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead increased from 12.4 percent to 13.2 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs decreased from 16.8 percent to 16.5 percent. The percentage expecting their incomes to increase improved from 16.3 percent to 18.1 percent. However, the proportion of consumers expecting a reduction in income increased from 9.5 percent to 10.8 percent.