The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rose more than expected in January to 98.1 from a revised December reading of 96.3. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a more modest rise to 96.5.
“Consumer confidence improved slightly in January, following an increase in December,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions held steady, while their expectations for the next six months improved moderately. For now, consumers do not foresee the volatility in financial markets as having a negative impact on the economy.”
Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions was relatively flat in January. The percentage saying business conditions are “good” was virtually unchanged at 27.2 percent, while those saying business conditions are “bad” declined slightly from 18.9 percent to 18.5 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was modestly more positive. The proportion claiming jobs are “plentiful” decreased from 24.2 percent to 22.8 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” declined to 23.4 percent from 24.5 percent.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey 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 14.