American Consumer Confidence Rises Heading into Christmas

The Conference Board said Consumer Confidence rose surprisingly in December, jumping to 108.3 (well above consensus 101.0) from an upwardly revised 101.4 (from 100.2) in November. Hope rose as prices though at extreme levels had levelled off.  Present Situation and Expectations Indexes improved driven by improved views of the economy and jobs, led by declining gas prices contributing to the lowest level for year-ahead inflation expectations since September 2021. For perspective in the same period a year ago, the Consumer Confidence Index stood at 115.2.

The Conference Board

US December Consumer Confidence

  • The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rose to 108.3 in December (consensus 101.0) an upwardly revised 101.4 (from 100.2) in November. In the same period a year ago, the Consumer Confidence Index stood at 115.2.
  • The Present Situation Index (based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions) increased to 147.2 from 138.3 last month.
  • The Expectations Index (based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions) improved to 82.4 from 76.7.
  • However, Expectations are still lingering around 80, a level associated with recession.
  • Present Situation and Expectations Indexes were driven by improved views of the economy and jobs, as well as declining gas prices that contributed to the lowest level for year-ahead inflation expectations since September 2021.

    “Consumer confidence bounced back in December, reversing consecutive declines in October and November to reach its highest level since April 2022,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “The Present Situation and Expectations Indexes improved due to consumers’ more favorable view regarding the economy and jobs. Inflation expectations retreated in December to their lowest level since September 2021, with recent declines in gas prices a major impetus. Vacation intentions improved but plans to purchase homes and big-ticket appliances cooled further. This shift in consumers’ preference from big-ticket items to services will continue in 2023, as will headwinds from inflation and interest rate hikes.”

    The Conference Board publishes the Consumer Confidence Index® at 10 a.m. ET on the last Tuesday of every month. Subscription information and the technical notes to this series are available on The Conference Board website: https://www.conference-board.org/data/consumerdata.cfm.

    About The Conference Board

    The Conference Board is the member-driven think tank that delivers trusted insights for what’s ahead. Founded in 1916, a non-partisan, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org.

    Source: The Conference Board

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