The consumer confidence index, which measures people’s assessment of the business and labor environment, rose less than expected for the month of February, according to a report by CNBC.
Data released by The Conference Board on Tuesday (Feb. 25) shows that the index came in at 130.7, which is a slight increase from 130.4 in January, but under the economist-estimated 132.6.
The present situation index, which measures the current business and labor environment, went to 165.1, from 173.9 last month.
The news comes after a difficult time for the stock market, which saw its worst day in two years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped over 1,000 points on Coronavirus fears regarding the economy.
“Despite the decline in the present situation index, consumers continue to view current conditions quite favorably,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ short-term expectations improved, and when coupled with solid employment growth, should be enough to continue to support spending and economic growth in the near term.”
In October, consumer confidence in the European Union fell to its lowest level since the end of 2018. The European Commission’s monthly index went down 1.1 points to -7.6, which was at the lowest level since December of 2018, and a larger drop than the -6.8 that was predicted.
In September, Mario Draghi, then president of the European Central Bank (ECB), “urged governments to take fiscal measures to supplement the central bank’s monetary stimulus and reinvigorate the eurozone economy.” Draghi spoke after the ECB announced it was going to launch a stimulus package that had a lower main deposit rate and a new bond-buying program. The interest rate in the region was also chopped about 10 points to -0.5, a record low that could be cut further depending on inflation.
“In view of the weakening economic outlook and the continued prominence of downside risk, governments with fiscal space should act in an effective and timely manner,” Draghi said at a press conference at the time.