Tag Archives: Consumer Confidence Index

Americans Lose Hope for Economic Rebound

A new Gallup survey shows that consumers are losing confidence in the economy at an accelerating rate.

Gallup’s U.S. Economic Confidence Index was -9 for the week ending May 3 — its lowest weekly score since December. This reflects a six-point decline from the previous week, and is the largest week-to-week drop since last July.

The survey looks at how people feel about the present economy and the future prospects for improvement. Not only were Americans down on how things are now, they are growing increasingly concerned about the future.

consumer confidence

 

Note how the economic outlook line crosses above the current conditions line late in 2014. At that point, consumers felt like things would be better than at the current time. Looking at late February ’15, we see the reversal. Current condition numbers remains hopeful, but the outlook went negative quite suddenly.

May brings about a horrific picture. Not only did current condition sentiment drop significantly, the future outlook number dropped even more indicating that Americans see the economy as worse than before and getting much worse in the future.

This index measures sentiment. As such, it does not show what people are spending or have spent. It is important though, as how consumers view the future of the economy will influence their decisions on spending.

Another factor that might be affecting sentiment is that Credit card default rates have seen a disturbing trend upwards leaving many maxed-out Americans unable to use debt to finance purchases.

If Americans think they might lose their jobs, have their hours reduced or are having trouble paying their current bills, they won’t run out and buy that new car, T.V. or refrigerator. They’ll just make do with what they have.

This negative outlook on the economy may be an indicator of why the recent decrease in gas prices has done nothing to boost consumer spending.

Consumer Confidence Index Decreases Slightly

Index Retreats after Two Months of Large Gains

NEW YORK, Jan. 31, 2012 — The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® , which had increased in December, retreated in January. The Index now stands at 61.1 (1985=100), down from 64.8 in December. The Present Situation Index declined to 38.4 from 46.5. The Expectations Index edged down to 76.2 from 77.0 in December.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 result was January 19.

Says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center: “Consumer Confidence retreated in January, after large back-to-back gains in the final two months of 2011. Consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions turned more downbeat and is back toNovember 2011 levels.  Regarding the short-term outlook, consumers are more upbeat about employment, but less optimistic about business conditions and their income prospects.  Recent increases in gasoline prices may have consumers feeling a little less confident this month.”

Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions was less favorable in January. Those claiming business conditions are “good” decreased to 13.3 percent from 16.3 percent, while those stating business conditions are “bad” increased to 38.7 percent from 33.5 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was also less positive. Those saying jobs are “plentiful” decreased to 6.1 percent from 6.6 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” increased to 43.5 percent from 41.6 percent.

Consumers’ short-term outlook was slightly weaker than it was last month. The proportion of consumers anticipating business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased to 16.6 percent from 16.8 percent, while those expecting business conditions will worsen increased to 15.1 percent from 13.4 percent. Consumers’ outlook for the labor market, however, was moderately more favorable.  Those expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased to 16.2 percent from 14.0 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs declined to 19.5 percent from 20.2 percent. The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes declined to 13.8 percent from 16.3 percent.