Consumers Are Bullish on Equities and 3 More Observations From the Consumer Confidence Survey

The December Conference Board Consumer Confidence survey had some interesting results. One of the more noteworthy changes were in regards to equity price expectations. The percentage of respondents who expect equity prices to increase over the next 12-months shot up by nearly 14 points while those who expect stock prices to fall declined by nearly 11 points from November to December. The difference between the two is now over 23 percentage points which is the highest level since February 2007.

Another major change developed among older and younger consumers. Since this summer, the 55 and older cohort has become much more confident as the series has increased from 73.9 to 105.5, the highest level since July 2007. Meanwhile, the under 35 cohort actually saw confidence decline from a 17 year high of 138.5 in November to 118.9 in December. The under 35 group remains more confident than the over 55, however, the spread between the two narrowed to -13.4 which is the closest the confidence level of these two groups has been since January 2009.