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The US Conference Board
Confidence Index, which had dipped in December, increased in
January. The Index now stands at 60.6 (1985=100), up from 53.3 in December.
Present Situation Index improved to 31.0 from 24.9. The Expectations Index
increased to 80.3 from 72.3 last month. The Consumer Confidence Survey
is based on a representative sample of 5,000 US households.
The monthly survey
is conducted for The Conference Board by TNS, one of the world’s largest custom
research company. The cutoff date for January’s preliminary results was January
Lynn Franco, Director of The
Conference Board Consumer Research Center said:
“Consumers have begun the year in better spirits. As a result, the Index is now
near levels not seen since last spring (May 2010, Index 62.7). Consumers rated
business and labour market conditions more favorably and expressed greater
confidence that the economy will continue to expand and generate more jobs in
the months ahead. Income expectations are also more positive. Although
pessimists still outnumber optimists, the gap has narrowed.”
Consumers’ assessment of current
conditions was more positive in January. Those saying business conditions are
“good” increased to 9.8% from 7.7%, while those saying business conditions
are “bad” was virtually unchanged at 40.4%. Consumers’ appraisal of the
job market was also more upbeat than last month. Those claiming jobs are
“plentiful” rose to 5.2% from 4.2%, while those claiming jobs are “hard
to get” declined to 43.4% from 46.0%.
Consumers’ short-term outlook was
more optimistic than in December. Those anticipating an improvement in business
conditions over the next six months increased to 19.0% from 16.8%, while those
anticipating business conditions will worsen decreased to 11.3% from 11.8%.
Consumers were also more optimistic about the job market.
more jobs in the months ahead increased to 16.0% from 14.2%, while those
expecting fewer jobs declined to 17.5% from 19.2%. The proportion of consumers
expecting an increase in their incomes rose to 11.4% from 9.9%.
US consumer confidence rose to its highest level in eight months, helped by growing optimism about the economy and the jobs market, with Ken Goldstein, The Conference Board, and Jack Ablin, Harris Private Bank: