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Consumer Confidence Increases Again in December
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had increased in November, rose again in December. The Index now stands at 52.9 (1985=100), up from 50.6 in November. The Expectations Index increased to 75.6 from 70.3 last month. The Present Situation Index, however, declined to 18.8 from 21.2 in November.
Consumer Confidence posted yet another moderate gain in December as expectations for the short-term future increased to the highest level in two years (Index 75.8, Dec. 2007). The Present Situation Index, however, continued to lose ground and remains at a 26-year low (Index 17.5, Feb. 1983). A more optimistic outlook for business and labor market conditions was the driving force behind the increase in the Expectations Index. Regarding income, however, consumers remain rather pessimistic about their short-term prospects and this will likely continue to play a key role in spending decisions in early 2010.
Consumers' assessment of current-day conditions declined further in December. Those claiming business conditions are "bad" increased to 46.6 percent from 44.5 percent, while those claiming conditions are "good" decreased to 7.0 percent from 8.1 percent. Consumers’ appraisal of the job market was mixed. Those claiming jobs are "hard to get" decreased to 48.6 percent from 49.2 percent, while those claiming jobs are "plentiful" decreased to 2.9 percent from 3.1 percent.
Posted: December 29, 2009 Tuesday 10:00 AM