March 1st, 2017 12:52 PM by Ron Mastrodonato
NEW YORK – Feb. 28, 2017 – The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased to 11.48 in February after a modest decline the month before (111.6 in January).
The Present Situation Index rose from 130.0 to 133.4, and the Expectations Index that gauges attitudes about the future economy increased from 99.3 last month to 102.4 in February.
"Consumer confidence increased in February and remains at a 15-year high (July 2001, 116.3)," says Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. "Consumers rated current business and labor market conditions more favorably this month than in January."
Current conditionsConsumers' assessment of current conditions held relatively steady in February. Those saying business conditions are "good" declined slightly from 29.0 percent to 28.7 percent, but those saying business conditions are "bad" also decreased – from 15.9 percent to 13.2 percent.
Consumers' assessment of the labor market was also mixed. Those stating jobs are "plentiful" declined from 27.1 percent to 26.2 percent, while those claiming jobs are "hard to get" also decreased, from 21.1 percent to 20.3 percent.
Short-term outlook"Expectations improved regarding the short-term outlook for business, and to a lesser degree jobs and income prospects," says Franco. "Overall, consumers expect the economy to continue expanding in the months ahead."
The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased from 22.9 percent to 24.0 percent; however, those expecting business conditions to worsen also rose slightly from 10.8 percent to 11.1 percent.
Consumers' outlook for the labor market was moderately more upbeat. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 19.7 percent to 20.4 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs declined from 14.4 percent to 13.6 percent.
The percentage of consumers expecting their incomes to increase rose marginally from 18.1 percent to 18.3 percent, while the proportion expecting a decrease declined from 9.4 percent to 8.2 percent.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was February 16.