United States: Consumer confidence edges higher at the start of 2020
The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose to 131.6 in January from an upwardly revised 128.2 in December (previously reported: 126.5). The reading beat market expectations of a 127.8 print and remained markedly above the 100-threshold that separates optimism from pessimism.
The improvement in consumer sentiment in January was boosted by households’ more optimistic view of current business and labor market conditions, and the present situation sub-index now sits at a robust 175.3. Consumers’ perspective on the labor market improved, with the labor differential—the difference between the percentage of respondents who state that jobs are plentiful and those who say that jobs are hard to get—rising from 33.5 in December to 37.4 in January. Meanwhile, consumers’ assessment of the short-term outlook rose just above the 100-threshold.
Commenting on this month’s reading, Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, noted:
“Optimism about the labor market should continue to support confidence in the short-term and, as a result, consumers will continue driving growth and prevent the economy from slowing in early 2020.”