The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index jumped in January from upwardly revised 128.2 to 131.6, beating the consensus forecast. The forecasts ranged from a low of 126.0 to a high of 132.0, the consensus being 128.2.
“Consumer confidence increased in January, following a moderate advance in December, driven primarily by a more positive assessment of the current job market and increased optimism about future job prospects,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director, Economic Indicators, at The Conference Board. “Optimism about the labor market should continue to support confidence in the short-term and, as a result, consumers will continue driving growth and prevent the economy from slowing in early 2020.”
The Present Situation Index—which gauges consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions—rose from 170.5 to 175.3. The Expectations Index—based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions—increased from 100.0 last month to 102.5 this month.
Those claiming business conditions are “good” rose from 39.0% to 40.8%, while those claiming business conditions are “bad” fell from 11.0% to 10.4%.
The percentage reporting jobs are “plentiful” rose from 46.5% to 49.0%, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” fell from 13.0% to 11.6%.
The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions will improve over the next six months was virtually unchanged at 18.8%. Those expecting business conditions will worsen fell marginally from 8.8% to 8.4%.
Consumers’ Outlook for Labor Market
The percentage expecting more jobs in the months ahead rose from 15.5% to 17.2%, while those anticipating fewer jobs fell slightly from 13.9% to 13.4%.
For short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement fell slightly from 22.7% to 22.0%, while the percentage expecting a decrease was roughly unchanged at 7.7%.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a probability-design random sample and is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen. The Conference Board publishes the Consumer Confidence Index® at 10 a.m. ET on the last Tuesday of every month.