Following a pair of disappointing issuances yesterday (on new home sales
) and earlier this morning (on orders for durable goods
), the Conference Board, a research organization, has come out with a constructive message, namely that consumer confidence is still on the rise.
Specifically, this private group reported that its Consumer Confidence Index, which had rebounded in December, increased again this month, rising from 77.5 to 80.7 on a month-to-month basis.
As to the other components in this series, the Present Situations Index, which tends to be less upbeat than the aggregate result, did even better on a comparative basis, climbing from December's 75.3 to 79.1 this month. Meanwhile, the Expectations Index, often the most optimistic of the three, also gained, climbing from last month's 79.0 to 81.8 in January.
According to Lynn Franco, the Director of Economic Indicators at the Conference Board, “Consumers” assessment of the present situation continues to improve, with both business conditions and the job market rated more favorably. Looking ahead six months, consumers expect the economy and their earnings to improve, but were somewhat mixed regarding the outlook for jobs."
Breaking the report down further, we learn that present conditions continue to brighten for most respondents, with those claiming that the business backdrop was good increasing, while those suggesting that conditions were not acceptable ratcheted down a notch. The outlook for the job market, while still cautious, likewise improved somewhat, albeit from a continuing low level.
Looked at as a whole, this was a welcome report, and, as noted, served to counter somewhat the less-welcoming results from the new home sales survey (which may well have been affected negatively by the weather) and the durable goods report, which had been issued some 90 minutes earlier today.At the time of this article's writing, the author did not have positions in any of the companies mentioned.