Good news as 2014 starts. Consumer confidence advanced in January for the second consecutive month, said Lynn Franco, director of Economic Indicators at the Conference Board. "All in all, confidence appears to be back on track and rising expectations suggest the economy may pick up some momentum in the months ahead,” Franco says.
“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," Franco reports.
Consumers claiming business conditions are “good” increased to 21.5 percent from 20.2 percent, while those claiming business conditions are “bad” edged down to 22.8 percent from 23.2 percent, the Conference Board said.
Consumers’ appraisal of the labor market was also more positive. Those saying jobs are “plentiful” ticked up to 12.7 percent from 11.9 percent, while those saying jobs are “hard to get” decreased slightly to 32.6 percent from 32.9 percent.
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had rebounded in December, increased again in January. The Index now stands at 80.7 (1985=100), up from 77.5 in December. The Present Situation Index increased to 79.1 from 75.3. The Expectations Index increased to 81.8 from 79.0 last month.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was January 16.
Consumers’ expectations, which had improved sharply in December, increased again in January. Those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months remained unchanged at 17.4 percent, while those anticipating business conditions to worsen decreased to 12.1 percent from 13.9 percent. Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was mixed. Those expecting more jobs in the months ahead declined to 15.4 percent from 17.1 percent.
However, those anticipating fewer jobs decreased to 18.3 percent from 19.4 percent, the Conference Board said. The proportion of consumers expecting their incomes to increase rose to 15.8 percent from 13.9 percent, while those anticipating a decrease in their incomes declined to 13.6 percent from 14.3 percent.