RISMEDIA, February 1, 2010—The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in December 2009, improved further in January 2010. The Index now stands at 55.9 (1985=100), up from 53.6 in December. The Present Situation Index increased to 25.0 from 20.2. The Expectations Index increased to 76.5 from 75.9 last month.
The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference Board by TNS. TNS is one of the world’s largest custom research companies. The cutoff date for January’s preliminary results was January 19th.
“Consumer Confidence rose for the third consecutive month, primarily the result of an improvement in present-day conditions. Consumers’ short-term outlook, while moderately more positive, does not suggest any significant pickup in activity in the coming months. Regarding their financial situation, while consumers were less dire about their income prospects than in December, the number of pessimists continues to outnumber the optimists,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center.
Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions was, on the whole, more positive than last month. Those stating business conditions are “good” increased to 9.0% from 7.5%, however, those stating business conditions are “bad” increased to 46.1% from 45.7%. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market improved moderately. Those claiming jobs are “hard to get” declined to 47.4% from 48.1%, while those claiming jobs are “plentiful” increased to 4.3% from 3.1%.
Consumers’ short-term outlook, while overall more positive, was somewhat mixed. The percentage of consumers expecting an improvement in business conditions over the next six months decreased to 20.9% from 21.2%, while those anticipating conditions will worsen increased to 12.7% from 11.8%. Regarding the outlook for the labor market, those expecting fewer jobs decreased to 18.9% from 20.6%. However, those expecting more jobs to become available in the months ahead declined to 15.5% from 16.4%. The proportion of consumers anticipating a decrease in their incomes declined to 16.2% from 18.4%.
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