Consumer Confidence Starts 2014 With Handy Gains

135093244The Conference Board has released its Consumer Confidence Index for January. The good news for the economy is that it is far better than the horrific durable goods report from the Commerce Department earlier on Tuesday morning. January's index rose after having rebounded in December.

The index now stands at 80.7, up more than three points from the 77.5 reading in December. Bloomberg was calling for a reading of 79.0, and the expected range from economists was 75.5 to 81.0. Large gains were seen in the Present Situation Index, with a gain to 79.1 from 75.3, while the Expectations Index increased to 81.8 from 79.0 last month. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was January 16.

January's gain marked the second consecutive month of growth, with both business conditions and the job market being evaluated by consumers as more favorable. Consumers expect the economy and their earnings to improve in the next six months, but they are mixed regarding the outlook for jobs. Consumers' assessment of overall present-day conditions continues to improve.

These are sub-index readings:

  • Those claiming business conditions are "good" increased to 21.5% from 20.2%.
  • Those claiming business conditions are "bad" edged down to 22.8% from 23.2%.
  • Those saying jobs are "plentiful" ticked up to 12.7% from 11.9%.
  • Those saying jobs are "hard to get" decreased slightly to 32.6% from 32.9%.
  • Those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months remained unchanged at 17.4%.
  • Those who expect business conditions to drop decreased to 12.1% from 13.9%.
  • Those expecting more jobs in the months ahead declined to 15.4% from 17.1%.
  • Those anticipating fewer jobs decreased to 18.3% from 19.4%.
  • Those expecting their incomes to increase rose to 15.8% from 13.9%.
  • Those anticipating a decrease in their incomes declined to 13.6% from 14.3%.

Stocks have continued to rebound from earlier gains. The S&P 500 Index was up 10.45 at 1792, and the DJIA was up 95 at 15,932 shortly after the consumer confidence report. The 10-year Treasury yield is 2.76% and the 30-year yield is at 3.68%.

Filed under: Economy
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