The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased in February, following a modest increase in January. The Index now stands at 130.8 (1985=100), up from 124.3 in January.
“Consumers’ assessment of current conditions was more favorable this month, with the labor force the main driver,” said Lynn Franco, director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board.
“Despite the recent stock market volatility, consumers expressed greater optimism about short-term prospects for business and labor market conditions, as well as their financial prospects,” added Franco. “Overall, consumers remain quite confident that the economy will continue expanding at a strong pace in the months ahead.”
Consumers’ appraisal of present-day conditions improved in February. Consumers’ assessment of business conditions was moderately more positive than in January. The percentage saying business conditions are “good” increased slightly from 35% to 35.8%, while those saying business conditions are “bad” decreased from 13% to 10.8%.
Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was considerably more favorable. Those claiming jobs are “plentiful” increased from 37.2% to 39.4%, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” decreased from 16.3% to 14.7%.
Consumers were also more optimistic about the short-term outlook in February. The percentage of consumers anticipating business conditions will improve over the next six months increased from 21.5% to 25.8%, while those expecting business conditions will worsen decreased from 9.8% to 9.4%.
Consumers’ outlook for the job market was also more positive. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 18.7% to 21.6%, while those anticipating fewer jobs declined from 12.5% to 11.9%.
Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement increased from 20.6% to 23.8%, however, the proportion expecting a decrease also rose, from 7.9% to 8.6%.