From Home Furnishing Business
Consumer Confidence Climbs to 5-Month High
U.S. consumer confidence hit its highest point since August on the strength of a stronger job market and economic conditions.
The Conference Board's index climbed to 80.7 from a revised 77.5 in December, a reading that was weaker than previously estimated. The Present Situation Index increased to 79.1 from 75.3. The Expectations Index increased to 81.8 from 79.0 last month.
“Consumer confidence advanced in January for the second consecutive month,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “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. 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.”
Consumer's assessment of overall present-day conditions continues to improve. Those 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. 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.
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.