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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Confidence Jumps To 2007 High
by Tom Moeller  January 27, 2015

The Conference Board's consumer confidence index improved to 102.9 during January from 93.1 in December, revised from 92.6 (1985=100). It was the highest level since August 2007. The latest figure increased by more than one-quarter y/y and easily surpassed expectations for 95.1 in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. During the last ten years, there has been a 45% correlation between the level of confidence and the three-month change in real personal consumption expenditures.

The present situations reading gained 12.7% versus December (45.7% y/y), to the highest level since February 2008. The expectations figure rose 8.9% (19.3% y/y), to the highest level since February 2011.

Business conditions were rated as "good" by 28.1% of respondents, the most since 2007. Jobs were viewed as hard to get by 25.7% of respondents, the fewest since March 2008. Business conditions improvement in six months was expected by a little-changed 18.4% and a fairly stable 16.7% thought there would be more jobs. The inflation rate expected in twelve months held steady near the recovery low of 5.0%.

By age group, confidence among those under 35 rebounded to the eight year high. Individuals aged 35-54 held m/m, also at the highest level since 2007. Amongst those over 55, confidence also returned to the 2007 high.

The Consumer Confidence data is available in Haver's CBDB database. The total indexes appear in USECON and the market expectations are in AS1REPNA.

Conference Board (SA, 1985=100) Jan Dec Nov Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012
Consumer Confidence Index 102.9 93.1 91.0 29.6 86.9 73.2 67.1
  Present Situation 112.6 99.9 93.7 45.7 87.3 67.6 49.8
  Expectations 96.4 88.5 89.3 19.3 86.6 77.0 78.6
Consumer Confidence By Age Group
  Under 35 Years 121.9 99.4 101.4 22.8 106.6 93.1 86.5
  Aged 35-54 Years 103.0 102.6 92.9 28.4 92.4 76.8 68.5
  Over 55 Years 90.8 83.7 78.1 31.8 73.7 61.2 56.7
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