The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index Improved in January
Wednesday, January 27th, 2021
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index improved moderately in January, after decreasing in December. The Index now stands at 89.3 (1985=100), up from 87.1 in December. However, the Present Situation Index – based on consumers' assessment of current business and labor market conditions – decreased from 87.2 to 84.4. The Expectations Index – based on consumers' short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions – increased from 87.0 in December to 92.5 this month.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was January 14.
"Consumers' appraisal of present-day conditions weakened further in January, with COVID-19 still the major suppressor," said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. "Consumers' expectations for the economy and jobs, however, advanced further, suggesting that consumers foresee conditions improving in the not-too-distant future. In addition, the percent of consumers who said they intend to purchase a home in the next six months improved, suggesting that the pace of home sales should remain robust in early 2021."
Consumers' appraisal of current conditions weakened further in January. The percentage of consumers claiming business conditions are "good" increased from 15.4 percent to 15.8 percent, but those claiming business conditions are "bad" also increased, from 39.7 percent to 42.8 percent. Consumers' assessment of the labor market was also less favorable. The percentage of consumers saying jobs are "plentiful" declined from 21.0 percent to 20.6 percent, while those claiming jobs are "hard to get" rose from 22.9 percent to 23.8 percent.
Consumers, however, have continued to grow more optimistic about the short-term outlook. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions will improve over the next six months increased from 29.5 percent to 33.7 percent, while those expecting business conditions will worsen decreased from 22.0 percent to 18.1 percent. Consumers' outlook regarding the job market also improved. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 28.0 percent to 31.3 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs decreased from 22.2 percent to 21.4 percent. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an increase declined from 15.7 percent to 14.4 percent, however the proportion expecting a decrease also declined from 14.6 percent to 14.2 percent.
Source: January 2021 Consumer Confidence Survey
The Conference Board / Release #8015
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.