Consumer Insights

US Consumer Confidence Hits 15-Year High

The Conference Board announced Tuesday (Dec. 27) that the Consumer Confidence Index, which increased by a lot in November, posted another gain in the month of December. It marked the highest level in consumer confidence since 2001.

In a press release, the Conference Board said the index stands at 113.7, up from 109.4 in November. The Expectations Index jumped from 94.4 to 105.5, but the Present Situation Index decreased to 126.1 from 132 in November.

“Consumer confidence improved further in December, due solely to increasing expectations, which hit a 13-year high (December 2003, 107.4),” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, in the press release. “The post-election surge in optimism for the economy, jobs and income prospects, as well as for stock prices, which reached a 13-year high, was most pronounced among older consumers. Consumers’ assessment of current conditions, which declined, still suggests that economic growth continued through the final months of 2016. Looking ahead to 2017, consumers’ continued optimism will depend on whether or not their expectations are realized.”

While consumer confidence ticked up in December, the Conference Board also said consumers’ assessment of current conditions declined in December, with those saying business conditions are good decreasing from 29.7 percent to 29.2 percent. Meanwhile, those saying business conditions are bad increased to 17.3 percent from 15.2 percent. As for jobs, consumers saying jobs are plentiful declined to 26.9 percent from 27.8 percent, while those saying jobs are hard to come by increased to 22.5 percent from 21.2 percent. The short-term outlook is faring better, with The Conference Board saying that the percentage of consumers who expect business conditions to improve in the next six months increased to 23.6 percent from 16.4 percent, while those that think business conditions will get worse declined to 8.7 percent from 9.9 percent.

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