U.S. Consumer Confidence Rebounds; Consumers More Confident Now Than At Start of 2013
Jan 2, 2014
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The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index rebounded in December 2013 to hit 78.1. That's up from 72.0 in November.

The Present Situation Index, a component of the Consumer Confidence Index, was up to 76.2 in December, from 73.5 in November. Another component, the Expectations Index, was up to 79.4, from 71.1 in November.

Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, said the December rebound brings the index close to pre-government shutdown levels—the index was at 80.2 in September 2013.

She said current conditions sentiment had risen to a 5-1/2-year high (April 2008, 81.9). Consumers were attributing the improvement to better economic and labor market conditions.

"Consumers expressed a greater degree of confidence in future economic and job prospects, but were moderately more pessimistic about their earning prospects," Franco said. "Despite the many challenges throughout 2013, consumers are in better spirits today than when the year began.”

The consumer view of current business conditions:
• 19.6% of consumers view business conditions as Good, down from November's 20.4%
• 22.6% of consumers view business conditions as Bad, down from 24.6%

The consumer view of the current labor market:
• 12.2% of consumers see jobs as Plentiful, up from November's 12.0%
• 32.5% of consumers see jobs as Hard To Get, down from 34.1%

Consumer six-month expectations, after a November 2013 decrease, rose in December. In terms of future business conditions:
• 17.2% of consumers expect business conditions to improve in the next six months, up from November's 16.7%
• 14.0% expect conditions to get worse, down from 16.1%

In terms of jobs:
• 17.1% of consumers expect more jobs in the coming months, up from November's 13.1%
• 19.0% expects fewer jobs, down from 21.4%

In terms of future incomes:
• 13.9% expect their incomes to grow, down from November's 15.3%
• 14.0% expect their incomes to shrink, down from November's 15.5%

The survey was conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, with a cutoff date of Dec. 17, 12013.

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