February Consumer Confidence Rises
February 28, 2017
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had declined
moderately in January, increased in February. The Index now stands at
114.8 (1985=100), up from 111.6 in January. The Present Situation Index
rose from 130.0 to 133.4 and the Expectations Index increased from 99.3
last month to 102.4.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey®, based on a probability-design
random sample, 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
“Consumer confidence increased in February and remains at a 15-year high
(July 2001, 116.3),” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators
at The Conference Board. “Consumers rated current business and labor
market conditions more favorably this month than in January.
Expectations improved regarding the short-term outlook for business, and
to a lesser degree jobs and income prospects. Overall, consumers expect
the economy to continue expanding in the months ahead.”
Consumers’ assessment of current conditions held relatively steady in
February. Those saying business conditions are “good” declined slightly
from 29.0 percent to 28.7 percent, while those saying business
conditions are “bad” also decreased, from 15.9 percent to 13.2 percent.
Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was also mixed. Those stating
jobs are “plentiful” declined from 27.1 percent to 26.2 percent, while
those claiming jobs are “hard to get” also decreased, from 21.1 percent
to 20.3 percent.
Consumers were more optimistic about the short-term outlook in February.
The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve
over the next six months increased from 22.9 percent to 24.0 percent,
however those expecting business conditions to worsen also rose slightly
from 10.8 percent to 11.1 percent.
Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also moderately more upbeat.
The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from
19.7 percent to 20.4 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs
declined from 14.4 percent to 13.6 percent. The percentage of consumers
expecting their incomes to increase rose marginally from 18.1 percent to
18.3 percent, while the proportion expecting a decrease declined from
9.4 percent to 8.2 percent.