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Economy in Brief

Consumer Confidence Slipped
by Tom Moeller February 22, 2005

The Conference Board’s Index of Consumer Confidence slipped in February to 104.0 from an upwardly revised January level of 105.1. Consensus expectations had been for a reading of 103.3.

The index of consumer expectations fell for the second consecutive month (+4.1% y/y). The present situation index added another 3.8% to strong gains in the prior three months (+39.7% y/y).

During the last twenty years there has been a 51% correlation between consumer confidence and the y/y change in real consumer spending. The correlation rose to 66% during the last ten years.

Perceptions of the job market improved further. Jobs were viewed as hard to get by 22.6% of survey participants, the lowest percentage since May 2002.

The Conference Board’s survey isconducted by a mailed questionnaire to 5,000 households and about 3,500 typically respond.

The Survey of Professional Forecasters from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia is available here.

Conference Board Feb Jan Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Consumer Confidence 104.0 105.1 17.5% 96.1 79.8 96.6
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