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U.S. Consumer Confidence Index Improves 12%

Feb 25, 2014 10:18 AM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... U.S. consumer confidence in February rose to 78.1 points (1985=100) compared with 69.6 points one year ago, according to The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®. The Present Situation Index jumped to 81.7 points from 63.3 points and The Expectations Index improved slightly to 75.7 points from 73.8 points.

While the indexes posted healthy gains year on year, The Conference Board observed that February's readings were softer compared with January as the short-term outlook for business, jobs and earnings deteriorated. Lynn Franco, the director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, explained,  “While expectations have fluctuated over recent months, current conditions have continued to trend upward and The Present Situation Index is now at its highest level in almost six years (April 2008, 81.9 points).  This suggests that consumers believe the economy has improved, but they do not foresee it gaining considerable momentum in the months ahead.”

The Conference Board found that those claiming business conditions were “good” this month increased to 21.5 percent from 20.8 percent in January, while those claiming business conditions were “bad” declined to 22.6 percent from 23.4 percent. Consumers who believed that jobs were “plentiful” increased to 13.9 percent from 12.5 percent in January, while those claiming that jobs were “hard to get” decreased slightly to 32.5 percent from 32.7 percent, according to the survey. But the percentage of consumers who believed that business conditions and job creation would improve in the coming six months declined from readings in January.

Tags: conference board, consumer confidence, Consumer Spending, february, Jeff Miller
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