The US Conference Board Consumer
which had fallen in December, fell further in January. The Index now stands at
58.6 (1985=100), down from 66.7 in December. The Expectations Index declined to
59.5 from 68.1. The Present Situation Index decreased to 57.3 from 64.6 last
month. The monthly survey,
based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around
what consumers buy and watch. The cut off date for the preliminary results was
Lynn Franco, director of Economic Indicators at
the Conference Board, a private New York-based research firm, said :
“Consumer Confidence posted another sharp decline in January, erasing all of the
gains made through 2012. Consumers are more pessimistic about the economic
outlook and, in particular, their financial situation. The increase in the
payroll tax has undoubtedly dampened consumers’ spirits and it may take a while
for confidence to rebound and consumers to recover from their initial paycheck
Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions deteriorated in January. Those
claiming business conditions are “good” declined to 16.7% from 17.2%, while those stating business conditions are “bad” increased to 27.4% from 26.3%. Consumers’ assessment of the labour market has also
grown more negative. Those saying jobs are “plentiful” declined to 8.6%
from 10.8%, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” increased to 37.7% from 36.1%.
Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook continued to deteriorate in
January. Those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months
declined to 15.4% from 18.1%. However, those expecting business
conditions to worsen declined slightly to 20.6% from 21.1%.
Consumers’ outlook for the labour market was more pessimistic. Those anticipating
more jobs in the months ahead declined to 14.3% from 17.9%, while
those expecting fewer jobs remained virtually unchanged at 27.0%. The
proportion of consumers expecting their incomes to decline rose to 22.9%
from 19.1%, while those anticipating an increase declined to 13.6%
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