Consumer Confidence Declines Again in February
The Conference Board released its Consumer Confidence Index ® this morning, with the headline number coming in at 102.9, a decrease of 3.1 from the downwardly revised final reading of 106.0 in January. This month's reading is worse than the Investing.com forecast of 108.5.
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® decreased in February for the second consecutive month. The Index now stands at 102.9 (1985=100), down from 106.0 in January (a downward revision). The Present Situation Index—based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions—increased to 152.8 (1985=100) from 151.1 last month. The Expectations Index—based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions—fell further to 69.7 (1985=100) from a downwardly revised 76.0 in January. Notably, the Expectations Index has now fallen well below 80—the level which often signals a recession within the next year. It has been below this level for 11 of the last 12 months.
“Consumer confidence declined again in February. The decrease reflected large drops in confidence for households aged 35 to 54 and for households earning $35,000 or more,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director, Economics at The Conference Board. Read more
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index measures the consumers attitudes and confidence in the economy, business conditions, and labor market, with higher readings indicating higher optimism. The general assumption is that when consumers are more optimistic they will spend more and stimulate economic growth. However, if consumers are pessimistic then spending will decline and the economy may slow down. The index is based on a 5 question survey, with 2 questions related to present conditions and 3 questions related to future expectations. The survey began in 1967 and was conducted every two months but changed to monthly reporting in 1977, which is where our data begins.