The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased in January after coming off a 17-year high in December, rising from 123.1 to 125.4 (1985=100).
“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.”
The Present Situation Index decreased slightly from 156.5 to 155.3, while the Expectations Index rose from 100.8 last month to 105.5 this month.
“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,” Ms. Franco added. “Overall, however, consumers remain quite confident that the solid pace of growth seen in late 2017 will continue into 2018.”
The percentage saying business conditions are “good” decreased slightly from 35.8% to 34.9%, while those saying business conditions are “bad” also increased slightly from 11.7% to 12.7%. Still, the margins are very strong.
The percentage of consumers claiming jobs are “plentiful” increased from 36.3% to 37.6%, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” increased only marginally, from 16.0% to 16.4%.
Consumers were again more optimistic about the short-term outlook in January after a steep drop in December. Worth noting, overall survey data indicates that many were unsure about the impact of tax reform given the media coverage.
The percentage of consumers anticipating business conditions to improve over the next six months increased marginally from 21.6% to 22.0%, while those expecting business conditions to worsen increased from 9.0% to 9.8%.
The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead was virtually unchanged at 19.0%, while those expected fewer jobs declined significantly from 15.9% to 11.8%.