NEW YORK – Jan. 28, 2014 – The Consumer Confidence Index rebounded in December and increased again in January, suggesting Americans are feeling more confident about the economy and the direction it’s heading.
The Conference Board’s Index now stands at 80.7 (1985=100), up from 77.5 in December. The Present Situation Index increased to 79.1 from 75.3. The Expectations Index that increased to 81.8 from 79.0 last month.
“Consumers’ assessment of the present situation continues to improve, with both business conditions and the job market rated more favorably,” says Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Looking ahead six months, consumers expect the economy and their earnings to improve.”
However, Franco says consumers were “somewhat mixed regarding the outlook for jobs. Still, confidence appears to be back on track and rising expectations suggest the economy may pick up some momentum in the months ahead.”
Consumers’ assessment of overall present-day conditions continues to improve. Those claiming business conditions are “good” right now increased to 21.5 percent from 20.2 percent, while those claiming business conditions are “bad” edged down to 22.8 percent from 23.2 percent.
Consumers’ appraisal of the labor market was also more positive. Those saying jobs are “plentiful” ticked up to 12.7 percent from 11.9 percent, while those saying jobs are “hard to get” decreased slightly to 32.6 percent from 32.9 percent.
Consumers’ expectations about the future, which improved sharply in December, increased again in January. Those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months remained unchanged at 17.4 percent, while those anticipating business conditions to worsen decreased to 12.1 percent from 13.9 percent.
Consumers’ outlook for the future labor market was mixed. Those expecting more jobs in the months ahead declined to 15.4 percent from 17.1 percent. However, those anticipating fewer jobs decreased to 18.3 percent from 19.4 percent.
The proportion of consumers expecting their incomes to increase rose to 15.8 percent from 13.9 percent, while those anticipating a decrease in their incomes declined to 13.6 percent from 14.3 percent.
Nielsen conducts the monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, for The Conference Board. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was Jan. 16.
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