Economic Watch: Consumer Confidence Posts December Rebound

December 30, 2014

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Consumer confidence in the U.S. rebounded in December after falling in November, according to the private research group The Conference Board.

Its Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 92, up from a revised reading of 91 in November, originally reported as 88.7. The index had hit a seven-year high of 94.5 in October.

The Present Situation Index rose to 98.6 from 93.7, while the Expectations Index decreased to 88.5 from 89.3 in November.

“Consumer confidence rebounded modestly in December, propelled by a considerably more favorable assessment of current economic and labor market conditions,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “As a result, the Present Situation Index is now at its highest level since February 2008.”

She said consumers were moderately less optimistic about the short-term outlook in December, but are more confident at year-end than they were at the beginning of the year.

Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions was considerably more favorable in December. Those saying business conditions are “good” was unchanged at 24.8%, while those claiming business conditions are “bad” decreased to 19.6%.

Consumers were also more positive in their assessment of the job market, with the proportion stating jobs are “plentiful” increasing to 17.1%, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” decreased to 27.7%

Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook eased moderately in December. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months edged down to 18% but those expecting business conditions to worsen declined slightly to 10.1%. The proportion of consumers expecting growth in their incomes declined moderately to 16.4%, however, the proportion expecting a decrease also declined to 10%.

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