The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® increased in January, following a decline in December. The Index now stands at 125.4 (1985=100), up from 123.1 in December. The Present Situation Index decreased slightly, from 156.5 to 155.3, while the Expectations Index increased from 100.8 last month to 105.5 this month.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey®, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was January 18.
“Consumer confidence improved in January after declining in December,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions decreased slightly, but remains at historically strong levels. Expectations improved, though consumers were somewhat ambivalent about their income prospects over the coming months, perhaps the result of some uncertainty regarding the impact of the tax plan. Overall, however, consumers remain quite confident that the solid pace of growth seen in late 2017 will continue into 2018.”
Consumers’ assessment of current conditions was slightly less positive in December. Consumers’ assessment of business conditions was mixed. The percentage saying business conditions are “good” decreased slightly from 35.8 percent to 34.9 percent, while those saying business conditions are “bad” increased slightly, from 11.7 percent to 12.7 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was also mixed. The percentage of consumers claiming jobs are “plentiful” increased from 36.3 percent to 37.6 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” increased marginally, from 16.0 percent to 16.4 percent.
Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook improved in January, following a sharp decline in December. The percentage of consumers anticipating business conditions to improve over the next six months increased marginally, from 21.6 percent to 22.0 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen increased from 9.0 percent to 9.8 percent.
Consumers’ outlook for the job market was also less negative. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead was virtually unchanged at 19.0 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs declined from 15.9 percent to 11.8 percent. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement decreased from 22.7 percent to 20.4 percent, while the proportion expecting a decrease also declined, from 9.0 percent to 7.7 percent.
Source: January 2018 Consumer Confidence Survey®
The Conference Board
The Conference Board publishes the Consumer Confidence Index®, at 10 a.m. ET on the last Tuesday of every month. Subscription information and the technical notes to this series are available on The Conference Board website: https://www.conference-board.org/data/consumerdata.cfm.
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