Consumers gain some confidence

Conference Board consumer confidence

More consumers told the forecasters that jobs were “plentiful,” while fewer said jobs were “not so plentiful”. This caused the so-called labor differential, a measure closely tracked by the national rate of unemployment, to rise to -12.4 and to its least negative level since May 2008. Generally speaking, consumers indicated that they were more confident about the economy at the present time.

As a result the Conference Board’s headline reading of confidence rose to 92.4 reaching its highest reading since October 2007. While the mindset among consumers is buoyant surrounding the present situation, they shied away when asked about their future positions. Therefore expectations index took a step back to 90.9 (-1.0).

Fewer consumers planned to buy major appliances in the next six months. Meanwhile, more people indicated that they planned to buy a “new” home over the coming period. Fewer people planned to buy “used” homes. The mix here is important as the existing homes market comprises about 95% of the overall housing market. Corroborating the earlier durable goods report, consumer confidence data points show that progress continues to face challenges as the recovery becomes entrenched.



Chart shows rising confidence boosts fortunes of labor market.

About the Author
Andrew Wilkinson

Andrew is a seasoned trader and commentator of global financial markets. He worked for several London-based banks trading cash and derivatives before moving to the U.S. to attend graduate school. Andrew re-joins Interactive Brokers following a two-year stretch at a major Wall Street broker-dealer as their Chief Economic Strategist. His coverage of stocks, options, futures, forex and bonds regularly surfaces in global media, and over the last several years Andrew has made many TV appearances on Bloomberg, BBC, CNBC and BNN and Yahoo Finance.

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